One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.
Last weekend, I was in Washington DC for the National Governor's Association (NGA) winter meeting. I had the opportunity to speak with the President and other governors about the fiscal health of the states and country. Unfortunately, Washington seems determined to spend more and more, even at the expense of future generations. The sequestration was the President's idea two years ago and was negotiated in an effort to avoid a government default.
Unfortunately, we don't know the effects of the current sequestration cuts. Wisconsin will be able to make it through the sequestration because of the tough, but prudent, decisions made over the past two years and the fact that our financial house is in order.
Washington needs to take this opportunity to decrease spending and get control of the debt. Now is the time to look at bold entitlement reform and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in our federal government, just as we have in Wisconsin.
Middle Class Income Tax Cut
There have been a number of news stories discussing the income tax cut I proposed in the state budget. While some individuals may criticize the size of the income tax cut, or exactly what the effect of it will be, it's important to remember that my proposal is a drastic turn from the budgets of the past. Unfortunately, many of the politicians who are critiquing the details of my middle class income tax are the same individuals who voted to increase taxes, income included, by more than a billion dollars just a few budgets ago.
Instead of debating how much we need to raise taxes to fund the government, I welcome the discussion of how much money we can return to the hardworking taxpayers of our great state.
With that said, the tax cuts I proposed specifically target middle-class taxpayers. The biggest percent of tax relief, under my plan, is for individuals making between $20,000-60,000 per year. Below is a chart of the effect of my income tax cut proposal.
Senate Passes Mining Bill
I applaud the Senate for moving quickly to pass mining legislation and I hope the Assembly sends the bill to my desk soon. Reforming current law to allow for a predictable and practical method to obtain a mining permit will help move our state forward.
We have the potential for a billion and a half dollar investment right here in our state that would be a lifeline to the people of Iron County. The benefits will be felt all across Wisconsin. Passing this bill streamlines the process for safe and environmentally sound mining, and could lead to as many as 3,000 construction-related jobs and 2,800 long-term jobs.
I congratulate the Senate on their work to reform the permitting process, while keeping intact the environmental safeguards that protect our air, land, and water resources. I look forward to signing the bill when it gets to my desk.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker