Tonight, I want to share with each of you our ambitious
plans to help more people live the American Dream—right here in Wisconsin.
Our focus is simple—more prosperity, better performance and
Going into this budget, we face a much different set of
circumstances than we did two years ago. At the start of 2011, Wisconsin faced a $3.6
billion budget deficit and the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. At the time, I stated
that moderation and frugality in government would lead to freedom and prosperity for our
Two years later and Wisconsin has a budget surplus and our
unemployment rate is down to 6.6 percent. It wasn't easy, but we're turning
This allows us to invest in our priorities—priorities I've
talked about in every corner of our state over the past few months—creating jobs, developing
the workforce, transforming education, reforming government, and investing
in our infrastructure.
This evening, I will share with you how our budget will help
bring more prosperity to the people of Wisconsin; how we'll improve the performance of
our needed government services; and how we'll push reforms that help people
transition from government dependence to true independence.
Bottom line—I want more freedom and prosperity for all.
Improving the economy is my number one priority. Over the past two years, we lowered our overall tax burden, we streamlined the regulatory process—so what we do enforce is about common sense and not government red tape—and we put limits on lawsuit abuse that was a hurdle for small businesses and farmers.