Walker's State of State focuses on tax cuts

CREATED Jan. 22, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan. 22, 2014

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  • Governor Scott Walker is set to deliver his State of the State address Wednesday night.

MADISON -- Tax cuts and jobs top Governor Walker’s State of the State speech. Governor Walker and Republicans believe they are making the right investments to improve the state’s business climate.

Democrats say the budget surplus is built on “disinvestments”.

“What do you do with a surplus,” asked Walker is his speech “give it back to the people who earned it.”

Governor Walker is taking credit for the state’s $911 million budget surplus. He now wants lawmakers to give a majority of that back to taxpayers.  Democrats aren’t so sure, they say the state faces a $725 million structural deficit in future.

“I think Wisconsin can do a lot better,” said state Senator Chris Larson, D-South Milwaukee. “ The governor’s plan is going to be borrowing even more.”

“I think you can see that reforms are working,” said state Senator Leah Vukmir,  R-Wauwatosa. ”Consumer confidence is up and people are starting to feel they can do a little bit more.”

“Wisconsin is going back to work,” said Governor Walker.

Walker lined up about a dozen people from the state who have been hired since he took office. He also said the state has exceeded his campaign goal of creating 10,000 new businesses. But Milwaukee Democrat s feel  left out.

“One of the biggest issues we face in Milwaukee is minority unemployment,” said state Representative Mandela Barnes, D-Milwaukee.  “When he brought out the first group of individuals, there was not one minority in that crowd and that was sort of disappointing.”

 Republicans applaud the governor’s effort but concede more can be done.    

“That’s what this speech was about,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester. “The opportunity to train more workers.  A chance to give the hard earned surplus to every person who either pays income taxes or owns a home or piece of property.  That’s awesome.”

Governor Walker Democratic opponent, Mary Burke says if there really is a surplus, she would specifically target middle class taxpayers.

“Scott Walker might think the economy's doing just fine, but I know there's a lot more to do to give every middle class family a fair shot,” said Mary Burke.