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Walker: State Of The State Will Touch On Education, Job Training

Democrats Say They Hope Governor Will Work With Them On Bipartisan Reforms

Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Gov. Scott Walker says part of his State of the State speech next Tuesday will focus on education and job training.

The governor wasn’t willing to give any definite “spoilers” when speaking to reporters over the weekend, but he did say a portion of the address will focus on getting people, even young teenagers, trained for jobs.

“We’ve got money we’re going to talk about set aside for that, money for high school — both for students to be ready whether they’re going into a two-year technical college degree program or a four-year program, whether at the UW or elsewhere,” Walker said.

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Meanwhile, Democratic legislative leaders are saying they want to hear bold plans from Gov. Scott Walker during the address. Rep. Peter Barca and Sen. Jennifer Shilling told reporters Monday that the Republican governor needs to work with them to strengthen the state’s middle class and improve its infrastructure.

Shilling, the Senate minority leader, said she’s not sure if the speech will do much to boost lagging approval numbers for both Walker and the GOP.

“This is five years he’s been at the helm, and I think there is fatigue — Republican fatigue over the agenda they have put forward the last several years,” said Shilling.

A Marquette University Law School poll conducted last November recorded an approval rating of about 38 percent for Walker, and about 31 percent for state Republicans.

The poll also recorded 39 percent approval for state Democrats. Shilling and Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca hope to boost that public opinion with alternatives to Walker’s proposals on issues such as reducing student loan debt and repairing Wisconsin roads.

Walker will address both houses of the Legislature Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.

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