In the past year, the State Legislature has worked with the Governor to address the many challenges facing our state. The tough decisions that have been made are paying off, as referenced tonight by the Governor in the State of the State address.
Since the legislative session began in January 2011 with over a $3 billion budget shortfall, we passed a balanced budget without raising taxes, enacted a property tax freeze that limited the growth in the statewide property tax levy to the lowest level in 15 years, and addressed $800 million in unpaid bills while improving Wisconsin's credit rating outlook. The reforms enacted over the last year are part of an effort to bring government in line with what taxpayers can afford. Meanwhile, the work to create a friendlier environment for job creators has resulted in over 21,000 more people being employed compared to a year ago, as estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to improve Wisconsin’s business climate and encourage job growth as the legislative session continues.