State Of The State Isn’t Found In Madison Speech
I listened carefully to the Governor’s State of the State Address this week for anything positive that I could tell the people I’d be returning to about the issues they are most concerned about: jobs, roads and schools. An effective leader inspires people. Regrettably, no one I talked to after the speech felt inspired. Instead of a vision for our future, we were treated to an incomplete, and in many ways unconvincing, defense of the status quo.
What the Governor didn’t report was the actual state of our state:
- Wisconsin has trailed the nation in private job creation for 20 quarters – that’s five straight years
- The number of roads in poor repair is projected to double, to nearly half of all state roads, in less than ten years
- And our schools continue to see support siphoned off to the unaccountable voucher school industry – with property taxpayers having to make up the difference
“Rewarding work” was a phrase that was thrown around a lot in the speech. Unfortunately, “rewarding the well-connected” at the expense of workers has been the recurring theme of his policies over the past six years.
As a result of Gov. Walker’s policies, $209 million will be taken from taxpayers who work for a living - this year alone – and handed over to a well-connected few. Despite the loss of over 2,700 manufacturing jobs, 11 people alone will be handed $21 million of your hard-earned dollars.
This handout doesn’t reward work. It picks workers’ pockets. It’s time to stop cutting workers’ pay while rewarding millionaires who cut jobs. It’s time to put Wisconsinites who work for a living first.
You shouldn’t have to settle for less and less for your family and your future. The Governor and his colleagues in the legislature have had 6 years in power. They’ve taken good care of special interests and the rich. What have they delivered for the working people of Wisconsin?
Deteriorating roads and more debt for workers and businesses that aren’t in the Milwaukee suburbs. Policies that make it harder for businesses in the North to find and keep good workers. Less for public schools that have defined our communities for generations.
The good news is that our future is brighter and better than the one laid out by the Governor. The men and women who live in Northern Wisconsin are busy working hard, making our communities better places to live.
Working together we will continue to make progress, both big and small. The people in Price County are busy reopening a recently closed Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Prentice. The people in Douglas County are busy working on the Better City Superior project, a plan to revitalize Downtown Superior. These are the people I will be listening to, and working for, in the session ahead.