On Wednesday, Governor Walker delivered his State of the State address. I’m proud of the things we’ve done this session, and I’m looking forward to the path the Governor laid out.
To review, the list of reforms we’ve accomplished this session is long:
- Unemployment hasn't been this low since I was nine years old.
- The Retirement Fund has posted strong gains, giving our retirees peace of mind that their money will be there.
- The non-partisan Fiscal Bureau is projecting even larger surpluses than it had originally expected, meaning that we have room to do even more good for the people of Wisconsin, and give you some of your money back.
- We’ve invested record amounts in schools and broadband expansion.
Now Governor Walker has laid out our agenda for the rest of this session, and it will have lasting positive impacts for all Wisconsinites.
Governor Walker has called on the Senate to pass the health care reforms that the Assembly already accomplished. Ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care is crucial, and the Assembly has ensured that those with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage. We’re going to permanently preserve Senior Care, making sure our elderly don’t have to worry about losing their benefits. But we also have to make sure that those who have been hurt by the Affordable Care Act are taken care of. For far too many people on the exchanges, rates have skyrocketed. Governor Walker announced a plan to help make sure they are not punished because of a bad law passed by Washington.
The Governor also took a page from the Rural Wisconsin Initiative’s playbook, announcing a $50 million Rural Economic Development Fund. According to Governor Walker, this fund will “support the development of new businesses and the expansion of small businesses in rural areas. And it can assist in training more people to fill the positions being created by employers in rural areas.”
That ties the work I’ve been doing this year to address rural workforce needs. I’ve introduced bills to expand student access to job training and apprenticeship and introduced a bill that will help the Town of Cable redevelop the Telemark so that it can once again become a premier destination year-round. I’m glad to see the Governor address the urgent needs we see in our district.
I posted a longer reaction video on my Facebook page – I’d love to hear your thoughts there.
Assembly Floor Session
This week, the Assembly was in for a Floor Session on Tuesday. We had 44 bills on the calendar for the day, so I will just highlight a few here. You can find the full list of bills that were voted on here.
Some of the highlights from session include:
- AJR 97: Authored by Rep. Murphy, this resolution congratulates the 2017 Wisconsin Badgers football team on their impressive accomplishments for this season
- AB 688: Authored by Rep. Mursau, this bill establishes a Wisconsin Conservation Corps program
- AB 769: Authored by Rep. Duchow, this bill deals with requirements for colleges when service member students are called into active duty
- SB 407: Authored by Rep. Kitchens, this bill deals with transfer policies for college credit earned by high school pupils
- AB 600: A bill I authored, allows the Town of Cable to create a TIF district which will assist in redeveloping the Telemark Lodge
Also, if you feel so inclined, you can watch the full five hours of floor session here.