Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
This week, after extensive review and consideration, we informed the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior of the decision on non-concur with the Kenosha casino proposal. We determined that the risk to taxpayers of Wisconsin is too great.
Due to the compacts negotiated by Governor Doyle, the current cost to taxpayers of approving the proposed casino project is up to $100 million and the long-term economic hit to the state budget would be a potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
We have had tremendous success in helping grow quality, family-supporting jobs in Kenosha, including the recent Amazon, InSinkErator, and Meijer Distribution Inc. expansions. We remain committed to using state resources effectively to continue growing the economy and creating jobs in Kenosha and around the state.
Secretary Mike Huebsch and staff at the Department of Administration did extensive work reviewing this complex issue and the many critical factors to consider. Read a recent memo prepared by Secretary Huebsch here.
This week, we announced some of the issues we’re focusing on in the upcoming 2015 – 17 State Budget proposal.
First and foremost, we aim to help transition citizens of Wisconsin from a state of dependence on government to one of genuine independence. A major obstacle in accomplishing this goal, however, is the use of illegal drugs, which can lead to abuse and addiction.
We are introducing a plan that will request drug tests for some of those currently accepting, or applying for benefits through programs such as unemployment, FoodShare, Medicaid, or other assistance programs. Many people do not realize that in high-demand fields, such as manufacturing, a majority of employers drug test their employees. We understand that drug addiction is a serious struggle, and we are not here to penalize, but to help. That’s why those who fail a drug test will have the opportunity to obtain treatment – free of charge – as well as job training.
Governor Walker announces workforce readiness plans
included in the 2015-17 State Budget at
Sulzer Machine and Manufacturing
Additionally, our biennial budget will continue and expand our investments in the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, as well as in apprenticeships and other opportunities that aid individuals with disabilities in entering the workforce and experiencing the pride that comes with hard work.
We are also maintaining our investments in the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program in order to advance our work in growing jobs in Milwaukee. We also seek to expand this program to additional cities such as Racine, Kenosha, and in various rural areas of the state in need.
Our budget proposal will make it easier for qualified applicants to earn a teacher’s license and for qualified veterans to obtain a Certified Driver’s License (CDL). Wisconsin teachers and veterans serve the citizens of our state honorably, and we will continue our efforts to aid them in their endeavors.
This is just part of our workforce readiness plan. We know that employers in Wisconsin have jobs available, but do not have enough employees with the skills to fill those positions. We are addressing some of the barriers that prevent citizens of Wisconsin from achieving the freedom, prosperity, and dignity that comes with having a job and fulfilling that job to the best of their ability.
This week, I also had the opportunity to speak with teachers, administrators, and school board members at the 2015 Wisconsin Education Convention in Milwaukee.
These local leaders, the ones working with our children and grandchildren in districts all across the state, are most qualified to set the high standards we have for education in this great state. I’ve called upon the Assembly and Senate to pass legislation that would eliminate any requirement that schools use Common Core standards, thus allowing education standards and goals to be set at the local level, by parents, teachers, and school board members who are cognizant of the unique needs of their children and students. I’ve also called upon the Wisconsin Legislature to produce legislation to hold all schools receiving public funding accountable.
Our state has seen considerable progress and success in the area of education in the past four years, and third grade reading scores as well as graduation rates are up. Moreover, we are now ranked second in the nation for ACT scores. We will continue to work together to maintain high standards, and make sure every child has access to a great education.
Looking ahead, this week we announced plans to head to the United Kingdom next month on a trade mission. The goal is to fuel our economic development and encourage businesses of the United Kingdom to invest in, and do business with, the great state of Wisconsin.
Our efforts will focus primarily on companies that have intentions of broadening their ventures in the U.S. within the next 12 to 36 months, and along with leaders from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), we will reach out to business executives in the United Kingdom about establishing new relationships and operations within Wisconsin.
Thanks to our prudent decisions and initiatives, the economy is growing stronger every day, which is one of the numerous reasons why international companies in the United Kingdom seeking to expand or relocate should consider Wisconsin. As a state, we already have marked success in exporting our goods, such as dairy products, and other services overseas. Thus, attracting foreign investment is the next rational measure in advancing that international success.
Tonight we celebrate the kick-off of the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable. What an honor to welcome athletes, spectators, volunteers and the International Paralympic Committee for this historic event.
This is only the third time this prestigious event has been hosted in the United States, and it’s an incredible honor that Wisconsin was chosen as the location. With 150 athletes from 20 countries competing in the events, this is the most immense gathering of elite disabled athletes since the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia last year.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to travel to Eagle River, dubbed the “Snowmobile Capital of the World” for the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby.
Snowmobiling is an important part of Wisconsin’s tourism industry and we are a top destination for this winter pastime. The AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby is one of Wisconsin’s premiere snowmobile events, attracting amateur and professional drivers, as well as 40,000 spectators annually, and boasts oval, snocross, and vintage races.
My beautiful wife, Tonette, and I enjoyed the crisp winter weather and the snowmobile races. We hope to return next year!
Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, Major General Donald Dunbar joined me this week in welcoming home the 32nd Military Engagement Team at Joint Force Headquarters here in Madison.
Our active-duty men and women serving in the Wisconsin National Guard are the epitome of selflessness. Their perseverance and dedication to our great state and nation are an inspiration to us all, and I am thrilled to welcome these American heroes home safe and sound.