Gov Calls for Tax Cuts, Jobs Programs in State of the State

Gov. Scott Walker says extra money collected thanks to an improving national economy should be returned to the people as property and income tax cuts.

In his State of the State speech Wednesday night he said "The economy is dramatically better and our finances are in great shape."

But Democrats say his tax cut plan is irresponsible and some Republican senators say they want to reduce the state's projected deficit rather than grow it as Walker's plan would do.

The governor is also asking the Legislature to bolster spending on job training efforts by $35 million.

He wants it to approve expanding the Wisconsin Fast Forward program. He wants to use money that was part of a surplus generated by the state's job creation agency the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Walker says the money should be used to help technical colleges eliminate waiting lists in high demand fields like manufacturing, agriculture and information technology.

The money would also go toward helping high school students get training in high demand jobs through dual enrollment programs at technical colleges.
It would also be used to help people with disabilities find jobs.

Walker says he will be spending this year highlighting employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

He says he will highlight employers who hire people with disabilities as well as organizations that help people get trained and find meaningful work.

Walker says he is borrowing the idea from Delaware Gov. Jack Markell who used it as his agenda during his term as chairman of the National Governors Association.

Walker is calling the Wisconsin initiative "A Better Bottom Line."

Disability Rights Wisconsin public policy coordinator Lisa Pugh is praising the initiative, saying her group is excited about working alongside the administration to create some positive change.

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