Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he will unveil a new jobs-focused legislative agenda next week that will focus on worker training, economic development and deregulation, common refrains over the past three years.
Speaking in La Crosse, Walker said he would not call for a special session but plans to roll out a package of bipartisan legislation — some new, some old — aimed at bolstering workforce development, offering tax breaks to businesses and eliminating regulations.
Walker said the package would include one bill — to provide vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities — sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Shilling, a Democrat from La Crosse.
The remarks came during a “brown bag” session with a couple of dozen workers at First Supply, a La Crosse-based plumbing supply company that has hired about 50 new workers this year, bringing its statewide workforce to nearly 500.
Walker, who is likely to fall far short of his 2010 campaign promise to help add 250,000 Wisconsin jobs during his first term, touted the state’s turnaround from the final years of his predecessor, which coincided with a national recession.
Joe Poehling, president of the fifth-generation company, credited Walker’s policies for helping fuel the economic growth that spurred his hiring, as well as state contracts.
Poehling presented the governor with a wireless speaker-equipped shower head from Wisconsin-based Kohler Co.
Walker said he expects less partisan bickering in the fall session.
“No matter who’s in charge the budget is always a more contentious time,” Walker said. “Our package will include bills proposed both by Republicans and Democrats as well as bills that we think just in general both parties can agree on.”
Rep. Steve Doyle, who sponsored one of only three Democratic bills to clear the Legislature this year, welcomed Walker’s call for job-centered bipartisanship.
“When we all ran for election or re-election last fall we promised bipartisanship and job creation,” said Doyle of Onalaska. “It’s time to start delivering on both of those.”