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Economic recovery, tax relief among high points in Walker's State of the State


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - During his State of the State address, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker laid out his plan for continued economic prosperity.

"Our friends and neighbors are going back to work and job creators are expanding their businesses," Governor Walker said. "Thanks to sound fiscal management, I am proud to announce further tax relief for Wisconsinites and additional funding for worker training. We will continue to work diligently until everyone who wants a job can find a job.”

Walker urged lawmakers at the State Capitol to call a special session to approve more than $500 million in property and income tax cuts. The governor also said he wanted to put over $100 million of the projected $1 billion surplus into Wisconsin's rainy day fund.

In his first speech of this election year, Governor Walker also touted job growth during his time in office.

“During the three years before I took office, Wisconsin lost over 133,000 jobs; and at the lowest point, the unemployment rate topped out at 9.2 percent,” Governor Walker said. “Now, Wisconsin is going back to work. According to monthly estimates, private sector job creation between April and November of 2013 was the best since 1994 and the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is the lowest it has been since 2008."

In the Democratic response following the State of the State address, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca took shots at not just Governor Walker's plan for the surplus, but lagging job creation when compared with other states.

"The laws passed in this Capitol during three years under Governor Walker and Republicans have not created jobs. Wisconsin has fallen from 11th to 37th in job creation," said Barca, who added about the surplus. "Governor Walker proposes irresponsibly spending much of the surplus on election-year gimmicks that will bring his growing structural deficit above $800 million. The last thing most Wisconsinites want is to once again return to the conditions Governor Walker used to justify dividing our state and causing massive disruption in people’s lives."