The State Of The State Is Strong
Tuesday night, Governor Walker fulfilled his constitutional duty to provide the Legislature with information concerning the state of the state. Here are a few key points:
- People are working in Wisconsin--we have low unemployment and strong labor force participation. I'm especially pleased that our unemployment rate among veterans is lower than the national veterans rate and lower than Wisconsin's overall rate.
- Property taxes are down--per our promise, property taxes today on the median value home are actually lower than in 2010 -- by $116.
- Income taxes are down --the average Wisconsin family will save $916 thanks to the tax relief in our budgets.
- Worker training is one of our top priorities -- we are continuing to invest in our K-12 schools and technical colleges to prepare people for jobs open today.
- Over 8,300 able-bodied adults without children at home have moved from welfare to work thanks to our FSET program, which requires work or training for food stamps.
I'm also excited about some new initiatives the Governor announced last night:
- $3 million to expand dual enrollment so that more high school students can access technical college classes earlier in their education.
- 3 new sites for Project SEARCH, which provides internships and opportunities for young people with disabilities. I've seen this program at work in communities across Wisconsin and am excited that more folks will benefit from its transformational impact.
- 3-year degree options under development at the University of Wisconsin, which will move motivated students into the workforce faster and make college more affordable.
On the whole, we can be proud of all we've accomplished legislatively these past five years, and we're seeing the impact of those policies in the everyday lives of our citizens. Though there are some national economic trends that cause us pause, I'm excited about what the coming years will hold for our great state. As I write, the stock market has had a morning roller coaster ride and oil is hovering around $26 a barrel. Wisconsin will weather any global economic storm, whether it comes tomorrow or in decades. We are hard workers, and government is back on your side.
Standing with our Friends
It is my honor to represent Wisconsin with diplomats from foreign nations, as I mentioned last week with the Mexicans. This week one of my favorite friends stopped by Madison, Israeli Consul General Roey Gilad. At this moment of tension and trial in the Middle East, it's important for us to stand fast with our friends in Israel, a key trading partner and strategic ally in a complicated region.
Another set of friends I am proud to stand with is the pro-life movement. This week across America, we will pause to remember the millions of babies' lives lost since Roe v. Wade was handed down on a cold January day decades ago. The pro-life movement has been speaking up for those whose voices are silent, and I'm proud to add my name to this noblest of fights...the fight for life.
A Family tradition
For Brakebush Brothers, quality chicken is a family tradition. Next time your child has chicken at the school cafeteria, or you order wings from Papa John's, or a sandwich at Panera, you can probably thank these good folks from central Wisconsin.
As someone who once owned a small business myself -- very small compared to this near 1000-person operation in Westfield--I take a special interest in championing Wisconsin's family-owned and small businesses, and that means visiting great places like Brakebush to hear their stories and cheer them on. Brakebush just celebrated its 90th birthday and they need workers. After yet another expansion, we need to keep this company growing in Wisconsin, knowing they also have extensive investments in Texas. They assured me that their chief need is talent--something I hear all the time. The good news is, they post their jobs on the site below - jobcenterofwisconsin.com.
Take a look; you might find a delicious opportunity! (Pun intended)