UPDATE: Gov. Walker proposes "Blueprint for Prosperity" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Gov. Walker proposes "Blueprint for Prosperity"


MADISON (WKOW) -- A "Blueprint For Prosperity."

That is what Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) calls the plan he laid out in Wednesday's State of the State address.

Gov. Walker made the state's $977 million surplus the focus of the speech.

"These new revenues are not a one-time windfall, or budget gimmick, but come from a strong economic recovery where more people are working, more employers are hiring and personal income is going up," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor then laid out how he will use that surplus for an $827 million tax cut, $406 million of which will go towards a property tax cut.

"The typical homeowner will see an actual reduction of $101 dollars on their next property tax bill," said Gov. Walker.

$98 million will go towards a tax cut targeted at the lowest income earners.

"If you're a family of four making $40,000, your savings will be $58," said Gov. Walker. 

The remaining $322 million will be used to adjust the withholding on state income taxes.

"Starting in April, a typical working family of four will see $57.90 more in their paychecks each month," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor also announced that a $35 million surplus in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation budget will be used to pay for job training.

"Tomorrow, I will call for a special session to move forward with legislation to return this surplus to the taxpayers and to invest in our technical colleges, train workers for high-demand jobs, and support employment opportunities for people with disabilities," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor didn't shy away from the topic of job creation, but he did use monthly job statistics that he has called inaccurate in the past.

"Private sector job creation between April and November was the best since 1994," said Gov. Walker. 

And the Governor highlighted the biggest jobs coup of his first term.

"Throughout the past year, we helped Amazon.com expand and create 1,250 jobs here in Wisconsin," said Gov. Walker.

And there was one theme the Governor kept hitting on from beginning to end.

"We are turning things around, we are heading in the right direction, we are moving forward," said Gov. Walker.

A couple of things the Governor didn't mention in the speech were social issues, such as abortion.  He also made no mention of the common core education standards, which many tea party groups were hoping he would renounce.

He stayed on the message he wanted to get across - that the state's fiscal house is in order.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker delivered his fourth State of the State speech Wednesday night.

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

Walker is referring to the $977 million dollar budget surplus.

The Governor is calling his tax cut proposal the "Blueprint For Prosperity." 

It is expected to save the average taxpayer about $150 this year.

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 also says he will be spending this year highlighting employers who hire people with disabilities as well as organizations that help people get trained and find meaningful work.

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

He is also asking the Legislature to bolster spending on job training efforts by $35 million. Walker wants lawmakers to approve expanding the Wisconsin Fast Forward program.

He 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.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) will lay out his much-anticipated $827 million tax cut proposal in tonight's 2014 State of the State address.

That cut is made possible by a projected $977 million dollar budget surplus.

The Governor is calling his tax cut proposal the "Blueprint For Prosperity."  It is expected to save the average taxpayer about $150 this year.

$406 million of that cut will come in the form of property tax relief.  It would save the $101 on a $150,000 home. 

Another $98 million will go towards reducing the tax rate on the lowest income earners, with $322 million dollars being used to reduce the amount of income tax withheld in paychecks.

Republicans hail the cuts as proof that their reforms have worked.

"As we look at the surplus, we now see that our priorities all across Wisconsin have been figuring out ways to take taxes that are paid to Madison and give them back to hard working families all across the state," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

But Democrats say some of the extra money could be used more wisely.

"First and foremost, we should address where the deficit is," countered Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).  "We increased borrowing under this last budget, I think we should address that first.  There's a $90 million deficit in the Medicaid fund.  I think we should make sure that gets restored."

Democrats say the Governor's plan also does not address the $800 million dollar reduction in K-12 funding that resulted from his 2011 budget.

But Rep. Vos made it clear yesterday that his caucus has no appetite for any increased spending.

If you want to watch the State of the State tonight, we'll be streaming it right here on www.wkow.com.  It starts at 7:00 PM.

We'll also have team coverage on 27 News at 10.


MADISON (WKOW) -- As Governor Scott Walker prepares to give his State of the State address Wednesday night, we already knew he would propose tax cuts. But now, there are more details about his plans.

The proposals could save the typical Wisconsin taxpayer about $150 a year, according to Governor Walker. Walker says he'll ask for a property tax cut that would save property tax owners $101 a year on a $151,000 home. He's also seeking a reduction in the lowest income tax bracket, which would result in a tax cut of between $44 and $58 a year. Those two tax cuts combined would cost $504 million.

Governor Walker will also order the Department of Revenue to update income tax withholding tables, which would save a typical family of four about $58 a month.

Republicans praise the plan, especially the $406 million property tax cut.

But Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says he's concerned the plan would increase the state's projected budget shortfall in 2015 by $100 million.

Click here for more on what to expect, from a political expert.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Anna Engelhart at 608-661-2767. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.