MADISON – Governor Scott Walker released his Weekly Radio Address on Thursday titled “Our Ambitious Agenda for Wisconsin.”
Hi, Governor Scott Walker here.
The state of our state is historically strong.
In Wednesday’s 2018 State of the State Address, I unveiled our Ambitious Agenda for Wisconsin: a comprehensive plan to keep our state moving forward in 2018. We’re proposing government reforms that challenge the status quo in the coming year. We will focus on investing in student success, meeting Wisconsin’s workforce needs, removing barriers to work, driving economic success for our small businesses, improving our rural communities, reinvesting in Wisconsin’s families with a child tax credit, and stabilizing our healthcare system.
We’re dedicated to ensuring that every child, regardless of age, no matter where they live, has access to a great education which provides them with the knowledge they need to excel. To that end, we’ve provided more funding in actual dollars for K-12 education than ever before in state history. On top of that, we’re working to help our rural school districts overcome the unique challenges they face by increasing sparsity aid and helping all of our school districts by supporting low revenue districts.
Another top priority moving into 2018 is preparing our workforce for the modern economy. We’ve partnered with Wisconsin technical colleges, private colleges and universities, and the University of Wisconsin System with our Wisconsin Career Creator program to supply hands-on skills training to fill high-demand jobs.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is tied for its lowest level in state history, but we can do even better. That’s why we’re calling for an expansion of our Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform plan. We want to remove barriers to work and make it easier for people to find rewarding careers, while also making sure public assistance is available for those who truly need it.
Small businesses are major contributors to our economy and provide family-supporting careers for hardworking Wisconsinites across the state. To address their concerns and help them thrive, we’re cutting taxes, removing unnecessary regulations, and reducing unemployment fraud. And we’re also working to attract young professionals, veterans transitioning to civilian life, and graduates of Wisconsin colleges and universities to live and work in our state.
We know rural communities face a unique set of challenges. One part of our Ambitious Agenda strives to help these communities overcome their challenges by expanding broadband Internet access to underserved areas of the state, investing in economic development, and securing the future for Wisconsin’s farmers. We will create a Rural Economic Development Fund to stimulate private investment and encourage innovation in rural counties across Wisconsin. And we’re creating a Family Farm Fund to keep more family farms in our state, providing additional resources for protecting soil and water quality, and developing new ways for dairy farmers to succeed locally, regionally, and around the world.
Our common-sense reforms over the years have led to an even larger budget surplus than we first expected. It’s what we call our Reform Dividend, and just like we promised, we are giving that surplus back to you through a child tax credit. Families across the state will receive $100 for every child under 18 living at home. Everyone deserves to share in our state’s success, so I’m calling on the Legislature to pass my plan to ensure parents have a check in their mailbox by the start of next school year, that’s your reform dividend.
Finally, we’re stabilizing out-of-control healthcare premium costs for those seeking coverage in the individual market and meeting the needs of Wisconsin’s seniors as well as people with preexisting conditions. We’re requesting a permanent extension to the SeniorCare prescription drug program and calling on the Senate to pass the Assembly’s preexisting condition legislation.
Overall we’re accomplishing positive things for the people of Wisconsin. Our state is standing on solid ground, and, with our new Ambitious Agenda, the future looks bright.
We are working and winning for Wisconsin.