MADISON (WITI) -- The state of Wisconsin is moving forward, according to Gov. Scott Walker's assessment of the state-of-the-state. Gov. Walker delivered his state-of-the-state address on Tuesday, January 15th.
Gov. Walker delivered his remarks and laid out his goals for the year in his address to lawmakers.
Gov. Walker's address included a strong defense of his policies -- saying Wisconsin has made progress despite political turmoil.
"Two years ago, when I first stood here as your new governor, Wisconsin was facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, property taxes had gone up 27% over the previous decade, increasing every year, and the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Today, Wisconsin has a $342 million budget surplus," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker's speech focused on a handful of key areas -- first and foremost: jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen in each year of Gov. Walker's first term -- from 7.7% in January of 2011 to 6.9% last year, and 6.7% this year.
"Helping the people of Wisconsin create more jobs is my number one priority," Gov. Walker said.
Democrats are quick to point out that Gov. Walker is failing to deliver on his biggest campaign promise: creating 250,000 jobs in four years. As Gov. Walker begins his third year in office, the state has only created 37,000.
Gov. Walker says he will double down on his 250,000 jobs pledge.
"In Wisconsin, we don't make excuses. We get results," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker also highlighted his ideas on taxes, saying he wants an income tax cut for middle class families.
"Unlike the message coming out of Washington, I believe that putting more money in the hands of the people—instead of the government—is good for the economy," Gov. Walker said.
The state Legislature's first order of business is to pass a mining bill, and Gov. Walker prodded lawmakers to act quickly.
"A mine would be a lifeline to people in northwestern Wisconsin," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker never uttered the standard one-word summation of the state-of-the-state, instead, saying: ""With bold vision and bright hope for the future, we are turning things around. We are heading in the right direction. We are moving Wisconsin forward."
Starting on Wednesday, January 16th, Gov. Walker will bring his message to the masses, launching a state-of-the-state tour kicking off in Hartford and Green Bay.