Madison—Representative Terry Katsma (R–Oostburg) issued the following statement in response to Governor Scott Walker’s state budget address today.

 “Due to responsible budgeting and an improving economy, the people of Wisconsin are entering 2017 with an additional $2 billion in the 2017-19 budget cycle than they had in the last budget cycle.  We are beginning the budget conversation this year in a better starting place than in the past.

 “Sensible management by the Governor and his administration has put us in a good position to lead responsibly over the next few years.  I support the Assembly’s recently announced framework that would return a significant portion of the new revenue to taxpayers but also direct new money to education and transportation—the core responsibilities of state government.

 “My top priority is making sure that Wisconsin taxpayers are getting their money’s worth from their government.  We have some work to do to make sure that our road projects are staying on budget and that our students are getting the right preparation for the ‘real world’ that they need.  I was glad to hear Governor Walker reaffirm today that he shares these priorities and that the budget plan does a lot of things to keep ensuring student success.

 “Finally, with unemployment rates near historic lows, I hear very often from Wisconsin employers who face a competitive labor market.  Having a really high labor participation rate is a good problem to have—but it’s still a problem when businesses can’t grow because too few qualified workers are available to fill open positions.  I appreciate the Governor’s ideas about making sure that everyone who wants to work has access to the resources to learn the skills they need.”

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