Governor Walker to emphasize workforce development in sixth State of the State address

MADISON -- Governor Scott Walker will discuss his priorities in front of the Republican-controlled Legislature on Tuesday evening, January 19th.

It will be Governor Walker's sixth State of the State address, and Walker says he plans to emphasize workforce development needs.

"Really what we're going to highlight is a focus on this concept of everybody who wants a job can find a job. How do we get people work ready?" Walker said.

This, as Democrats continue to push Walker to change his approach to the economy.

"I think the public deserves to hear from the governor exactly what the vision is to address a lot of the economic insecurity that exists right now. The reality is that Wisconsin has underperformed versus our neighboring state and versus the national economy," Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said.

Governor Walker isn't up for re-election this year, but the entire Assembly is, along with half of the Senate.

Political science professor Charley Jacobs says the governor's agenda could impact all state Republicans.

"It is going to frame the kinds of issues that are going to be debated as we get past Labor Day and into the real electoral season," Jacobs said.

Democrats have opposed many of the big changes passed under Republican leadership this session.

"Instead of being focused on jobs that the governor and under his leadership the majority party spent their time trying to keep records from the public, trying to increase the amount of money they could get by changing campaign finance rules," Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) said.

"The state of the state is strong. We have, according to at least two of the statistics from the federal government, the highest number of people last year working in the last 20 years. We're one of the top 10 states in terms of the people in our state in the workforce," Walker said.

With legislative leaders planning to wrap up work for the year in the next couple of months, any proposals the governor suggests will have to advance quickly.

The State of the State address is set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.