Scott Walker's blog
This week, I introduced the 2013-15 biennial state budget.
We focused on our five priorities, which are creating jobs, developing our workforce, transforming education, reforming government, and investing in infrastructure. Specifically I’m proud to announce a $343 million middle-class income tax cut. Under our budget plan, you, the hardworking middle-class taxpayers, will get to keep more of the money you earn.
While reducing income taxes, we also worked to control spending to ensure the promises we make today will be able to be fulfilled in the future. The budget I proposed contains a responsible, comprehensive entitlement reform package. These programs will provide a hand up, but not a permanent hand out.
Reforming entitlements, focusing on my five main priorities, and cutting income taxes are all aimed at providing Wisconsin citizens with more prosperity, better performance, and true independence.
In my State of the State address, I stood with operating engineers from Local 139, and carpenters and millwrights from northern Wisconsin locals of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, all who are looking for work.
Passing a bill that streamlines the process for safe and environmentally sound mining, could lead to as many as 3,000 construction-related jobs and 2,800 long-term jobs.
We have the potential for a billion and a half dollar investment right here in our state that would be a lifeline to the people of Iron County. The benefits will be felt all across Wisconsin.
I applaud the Legislature for moving quickly to introduce mining legislation. Reforming current law to allow for a predictable and practical method to obtain a mining permit will help move our state forward.
We will continue to work together to reform the permitting process, while keeping intact the environmental safeguards that protect our air, land, and water resources.
My wife Tonette and I would like to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness this holiday season. As we get ready to celebrate Christmas with our sons, Matt and Alex, we pray for a new year filled with faith, hope, and prosperity.
This joyful season can be a time to remember as well as a time to hope for the future. It is also a time to be grateful for the past year and for our loved ones.
We hope that in the midst of the hustle and bustle, and in light of the recent tragedy, everyone will take the opportunity to cherish the family around them. We would like to thank all of our service members who are away from their families this Christmas season. We hope that in the next year, you will be home with your families.
This week, I had the honor of joining a bipartisan group of Governors to meet with President Obama about the fiscal challenges facing our federal government.
For more than a decade, the federal government has been spending a lot more money than it has been taking in. Because critical debt benchmarks were surpassed, in the near future our nation is facing what often is referred to as the fiscal cliff. If our federal government fails to take action to avert this fiscal cliff, we could experience a massive economic downturn, which would affect states all across the nation.
Last week, the Department of Administration released revenue projections and provided an update on the current state budget. The State of Wisconsin is projected to start fiscal year 2013 with a $342.1 million balance, which is the largest opening balance since fiscal year 2001.
On top of the positive opening balance, we are projected to deposit $125 million into the state’s rainy day fund. For the first time in history, Wisconsin will deposit funds into the rainy day fund in two consecutive fiscal years.
Heading into the next budget we are in the unique position of having anticipated surpluses, increased revenue, and projected economic growth. I’m excited about the opportunities we have to build a better Wisconsin for the next generation.