MADISON (WITI) -- The state of the state is strong. That's the report from Gov. Scott Walker on Wisconsin's fiscal health. He delivered his annual address at the state Capitol on Wednesday evening, January 22nd.
The tone of the speech was optimistic -- bordering on triumphal. He is making the case that his hard-fought and highly controversial budget reforms are working -- and now, he says the numbers prove it.
"The state of our state is strong and improving everyday," Gov. Walker said Wednesday.
This was the most optimistic report since Gov. Walker's election in 2010.
Gov. Walker announced that Wisconsin has a budget surplus of more than $900 million.
"What do you do with a surplus? Give it back to the people who earned it. It's your money," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker proposed what he called "a blueprint for prosperity" for how he thinks the surplus should be used. He's calling for a special session of the Legislature -- asking lawmakers to provide $800 million in tax cuts.
"I ask you to work with me over the next few weeks to return the vast majority of the new surplus to the directly to the hard working taxpayers," Gov. Walker said.
One estimate shows the average homeowner would save about $150 under the plan.
State Democrats were critical of Gov. Walker's "blueprint," saying the money should be restored to education -- which saw about $800 billion in tax cuts during Gov. Walker's first budget.
Gov. Walker's push for tax cuts will no doubt reshape the final months of the Legislative session.
"Now is the time to pass our blueprint for prosperity, and help move Wisconsin forward," Gov. Walker said.
The surplus is $900 million, and Gov. Walker is proposing $800 million in tax cuts. Gov. Walker wants the final $100 million of the surplus to go to the state's "Rainy Day Fund."
CLICK HERE to view a transcript of Gov. Walker's State of the State Address.