Walker touts ‘Wisconsin comeback’

Political Beat

In the wake of his failed presidential bid, Gov. Scott Walker emphasized Wisconsin’s economic recovery and favored describing past accomplishments over proposing future plans while briefing state lawmakers in his recent “State of the State” address.

Scott Walker
Scott Walker

“State finances are stable; our school students are doing well overall; college tuition is frozen; and property and income taxes are down from 2010,” Walker said during his speech. “The Wisconsin Comeback is real.”

Walker cited several employment and economic figures to make his case, including a labor force participation rate of 67.8 percent, which would put Wisconsin more than 5 points ahead of the national average, and what he referred to as the state’s “lowest unemployment rate since 2001.”

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate in November was 4.2 percent, which was the lowest it has been since April 2001. It ticked up to 4.3 percent in December.

“Not only are more people working, new business formations were up 3.6 percent last year,” Walker said.

The governor said owners of a median valued home in Wisconsin paid $116 less in property taxes in 2015 than they did in 2010. He also said median income families will receive a four-year income tax reduction of $916.

But Democratic leaders said Walker’s policies have hurt the state’s economy.

“Over the last five years, we’ve seen deep cuts that have limited economic growth, stifled innovation and denied thousands of families the opportunity to get ahead,” said State Senate Democratic leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Democrats continue to believe that the best way to move our state forward is by restoring investments in our schools, infrastructure and worker training programs.”

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.