While Governor Walker’s State of the State Tuesday night was full of theatrics and talking points, it was light on details.
The facts are that under Gov. Walker’s leadership Wisconsin is slipping further and further away from strengthening the middle class by creating good, family-sustaining jobs. Gov. Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs during his first term as Governor. At the halfway point of his goal, a mere 37,000 jobs have been created, less than 15% of his target.
This isn’t good enough. There are steps we can take together to create jobs and get Wisconsin back on track. We need to get workers back on the job by investing in training programs that supply manufacturers with properly trained workers. We need to boost our infrastructure in order to compete in the global economy, not mangle train deals and refuse federal funding for high-speed rail initiatives.
Gov. Walker talks about a balanced budget, but he balanced the budget on the backs of workers and at the expense of the middle class by attacking public employee’s rights to collective bargaining and drastically cutting funding for schools and health care programs.
Recklessly, Gov. Walker enacted the biggest cuts to public education in state history, cut $500 million from health care programs that help children, families and seniors and froze enrollment and created waiting lists for the FamilyCare program that helps senior and persons with disabilities get the care they need so that they can remain in their homes.
At the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO we hope the new legislative session brings politicians together to create good, family-supporting jobs for Wisconsin families. This new year, let’s put the partisan politics and political games aside and put the middle class families of Wisconsin first.