(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Senate Ranking Member of the Joint Committee on Finance, issued the following statement in response to the annual State of the State address given this evening:

“Wisconsin is at a critical juncture in its history.  In one short year, the Governor and Legislative Republicans have launched an attack on Wisconsin’s values and priorities in a fashion reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century.  Progressive values are being called to do battle with vast interests that seek to make public resources into private profits.”

“The Governor did not lay out a new course for Wisconsin tonight.  Instead Wisconsin was fed a terrible meal of the cruel dishonesty that he has served time and time again.  Talks of balanced budgets, lowered taxes, job creation, and a brighter future simply do not square with the facts.  The Governor’s administration itself has certified to the federal government that a deficit exists in Wisconsin.  The Governor’s budget raised taxes on working people and senior citizens according the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.  The Governor has presided over six straight months of job loss according to his administration’s own Department of Workforce Development.  These are facts that a Governor worthy of the office should acknowledge.  Instead, Wisconsin is served the lies needed to save his political career.” 

“Adding injury to that great disservice to the people is the ultimate choice this Governor and Legislative Republicans made – cutting schools and health care for the people to give away 2.3 billion dollars of unfair tax breaks to big business and forcing the citizens to pick up that debt.”

“But most striking was the Governor’s refusal to address the persistent accusations that are growing out of Milwaukee County.  The John Doe investigation continues to grow and today’s news that bid rigging by the County may have occurred is concerning.  Just five short years ago Republicans, including the Governor, attacked and vilified Governor Doyle and sent an innocent woman, Georgia Thompson, to prison for similar accusations.  Later, time proved there was no truth to these allegations, but ironically, at the same time the John Doe case alleges that Milwaukee County may have been experiencing a real crime.   Wisconsin deserves a Governor who will completely and willingly inform prosecutors of his role and his office’s role in the decision made about the Reuss Federal Plaza while he was County Executive.”

“Unlike President Obama, who last night rightly called for renewed efforts to grow manufacturing jobs, fairness in our tax code, and an end to extreme ideology holding the march of progress captive , this Governor failed to do anything but fumble for the right words to cover his record of failure this year.  In the absence of leadership from the Governor and Legislative Republicans, it now falls to the people to replace power in this Capitol.  Democrats across this state are standing up with new ideas for job creation and prioritizing the needs of the people – education, health care, and worker retraining.  These ideas are ready to be put to work.  All they need is a Legislature and Governor ready to move Wisconsin forward.  It’s time for Governor Walker to tell the truth about his record and the John Doe investigation, face the voters, and let the will of the people be done in this state.”