• State of the State 
  • Former Governor Schreiber in Watertown

State of the State 

This week Governor Walker gave his annual State of the State address. I listened to him talk about all the recent changes we have made – the historical increase in money for our schools, how the U.S. Census Bureau found the percentage of Wisconsinites with access to healthcare is one of the best in the nation, and how we lead the nation with benefits for our veterans.

As I listened I was reminded of when I started at the Capitol; unemployment was at a 9.4 percent, the UW was raising tuition the maximum amount every year, the previous administration had raided the transportation fund, Wisconsin ranked in the bottom 10 states for business and our property taxes were among the highest in the nation. My how things have changed…

Since I was elected we have eliminated the state property tax – putting more money back in your pockets. The tuition freeze at the UW is estimated to save students $6,300 over four years, making college more affordable for working families. Unemployment is at a historic low at 3.0 percent. For the first time in our history, everyone living in poverty is covered under BadgerCare. By the end of this year we will have eliminated the waiting lists for children who need long-term care services.

These things didn’t just happen.

They came about because we made tough choices. We made fiscally responsible choices. We put money in our rainy day fund, which now has nearly $300 million in it. We invested more money into K-12 education – an extra $200 per student in every school this year and another $204 increase for next year. We froze tuition at the UW. We doubled the number of youth apprenticeship programs. This budget alone we invested $41.5 million to expand broadband internet in our state.

And we are not finished investing in our state and citizens.

Governor Walker proposed in his speech that we reform our criminal justice system. This would include several smaller facilities throughout the state and one facility at Mendota Mental Health Institute as part of a nationally recognized program for mental health treatment. This is already a bipartisan effort, and I look forward to working across the aisle on these important reforms.

We know part of moving Wisconsin forward is about having citizens who are healthy, which is why I support the Governor’s plan to enact a law that will guarantee coverage of pre-existing conditions. This is why I have repeatedly supported increased access to healthcare and expanding mental health services.

Lastly, the Governor proposed we create a child tax credit, which will give families $100 for every child under the age of 18 who is living at home. This initiative would be funded by our surplus. Like with property and income taxes we know the best way to grow our state is to make sure you have more money in your pockets. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Governor’s proposals.

It is my honor to serve you, and I look forward to all the great things we can continue to do to make our state great for its citizens.

Former Governor in Watertown




Former Governor Martin Schreiber was in Watertown for the Library’s winter author event. His book, My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, is a touching story that many caregivers can relate to. 

It was nice to share my experience on the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force with him.