Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker delivered an optimistic speech Tuesday on government efficiency and defeating Common Core.
Despite labor reform no longer being a top priority, Walker became well-known during his first term when he worked with the state’s Republican legislature to pass a labor reform initiative, known as Act 10. The act significantly changed the collective bargaining process for most public employees within the state.
The policy initiative quickly made Walker a target of unions who tried defeating him in a recall election and the 2014 midterm election.
Walker was able to defeat his critics each time.
After a light-hearted shout-out to the Green Bay Packers, Walker got into detail about government efficiency, taxes and the problem of Common Core in education. Walker even noted the impact and importance of the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in France.
“Some in Washington believe government should play a growing role in our lives and rarely question its expanse. Others have such disdain for government that they attempt to keep it from working at all,” Walker declared.
“Instead, we have a chance to lead here in Wisconsin. I believe that government has grown too big and too intrusive in our lives and must be reined in, but the government that is left must work,” Walker argued. “As taxpayers, we should demand that the functions that government must reasonably do, it should do well. We should demand a government that is more effective, more efficient, and more accountable to the public.”
Walker also put plans forward to help education in the state. Specifically, Walker argued that the recently enacted federal education standards known as Common Core should not be mandatory.
“And speaking of what is best for our students, I call on the members of the state Legislature to pass legislation making it crystal clear that no school district in the state is required to use Common Core standards” Walker said. “Going forward, I want to eliminate any requirement to use Common Core.”
Taking pride in what has been done for taxpayers in the state, Walker noted: “We reduced income and employer taxes, too. And we started taking less out of paychecks for withholding last April, so you could keep more of your hard-earned money.”
“In particular, I am proud to say property taxes on a typical home were $141 lower in December of 2014 than they were four years ago,” Walker added. “That’s right; property taxes are literally lower than they were in 2010. How many Governors can say that?”
Introducing a plan to help with government efficiency, Walker said, “Currently, the state has two different entities directly involved with economic development. One, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), was created four years ago to replace the old Department of Commerce. The other, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) was created more than four decades ago.”
“Tonight, I ask the members of the state Legislature to pass legislation combining these two into one, so resources can be shifted from overhead into economic development,” Walker declared. “Our plan will put an even greater emphasis on working at the grassroots level with local, regional, and private sector partners on economic development.”
“There are also several agencies, which oversee financial institutions and professional services. Tonight, I call on the members of the state Legislature to approve legislation combining these agencies into a one-stop shop for professional and financial services,” Walker also noted.
Walker added, “In addition, our legislative package will include several other consolidations within existing agencies—as well as further regulatory reforms. We want common sense solutions, not bureaucratic red tape.”
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