Governor Scott Walker will deliver his third annual State of the State address Tuesday, during which the governor has hinted he'll outline his ideas for growing the economy.
While the governor may only speak generally about his economic agenda in his State of the State address, he's likely to call for some kind of state venture capital bill. Venture capital was one of the rare legislative priorities that eluded the governor last session. Walker says he's not sure what form a venture capital law should take, but wants it to prioritize startup companies who have trouble finding capital elsewhere. A simple tax credit, the governor says, is not enough for a business just getting off the ground: “A tax credit doesn't pay your rent, doesn't pay your lease, doesn't pay your employees for the first year or two, and so if we've got people coming out of our University of Wisconsin system with great ideas that could lead to great employment in the future, we've got to have a way to bridge that and get them going and we've very much interested in a plausible way to do that.”
Walker is also likely to use his speech to call for an income tax cut, but details of that will wait until his budget address next month.
Democrats say they'll be listening for what the governor doesn't say. In last year's State of the State, Walker did not mention his campaign promise to help the private sector create 250,000 jobs during his first term. State Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate says that's because everyone knows the governor won't hit his number: “Everyone knows he's not going to make it there. The question is who will he blame? He'll likely blame Jim Doyle. He'll blame the Greeks. He'll blame the protesters. He'll blame Obamacare. He'll blame Washington. But he will take no responsibility.”
Walker will also likely talk about a rewrite of Wisconsin's mining laws, an effort that Republican legislative leaders have said will be their top priority this session.