Saturday, September 22, 2012

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
 
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

Encouraging Investment in Wisconsin
 
Earlier this week, I met with other Midwestern Governors and potential investors from Japan about opportunities to encourage more job creation in Wisconsin and the overall region. 
 
Governor Mitch Daniels, of Indiana, massively increased foreign investment in his state over the last eight years of his tenure. Today, Japanese companies invest more money in Indiana than nearly any other state, and those companies employ tens of thousands of workers.

Talking with Governor Daniels during this meeting, I am hopeful the Midwest region as a whole and Wisconsin specifically, can expand regionally on investments made in Indiana over the course of the last few years.
 
Maintaining Safe Transportation Network
 
As we move forward and continue to prioritize funding Wisconsin’s transportation network, which will spur economic growth, it is important to remember safety on our roadways. This week was national Child Passenger Safety Week, so I teamed up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver to kick off and promote the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats.

The number one killer of children from birth to age 12 is car accidents. It’s important for parents and caregivers to understand the benefits of wearing a seatbelt and having their children in correctly installed safety seats. Our goal is to make sure everyone traveling on the road has the best chance to avoid injury or death should they be involved in a traffic crash.

To view a web video from the kickoff with Governor Walker and Donald Driver, click here, and to view the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s new instructional video please click here 
 
225th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution
 
This week marked the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution. I marked this important event by talking to 4th graders in De Pere, Madison, Wausau, and Franklin. With the help of the Wisconsin Historical Society, we were able to bring along one of the signers of the Constitution, “Robert Morris,” of Pennsylvania, who spoke to the students about his role in the American Revolution and the drafting of our nation’s founding documents.

Our founding fathers risked their lives to embark on our great American experiment and crafted the Constitution to serve as its blueprint. Our commitment to freedom and opportunity laid out in the Constitution made America the greatest and most prosperous nation on Earth and served as a model for countless other nations around the world.

The U.S. Constitution establishes the rules and separate powers of the three branches of the federal government—Congress, an executive branch led by the President, and the Supreme Court. The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in continuous use.
 
Just Ask the Governor
 
Each e-update, I will answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.

Question: I am disappointed at the judge’s decision on the unions. What can I do?
Answer: We need to wait to see how the case moves forward in the court system.
Recently, a Dane County judge in Madison issued a ruling that struck down key provisions of the budget reforms enacted late last year. We are confident this ruling will be overturned because Act 10 is constitutional. This would not be the first time a Dane County judge's decision on Act 10 was held to be wrong by a higher court.

Since enacting the reforms contained in Act 10, taxpayers have saved more than one billion dollars, property taxes on a median value home have decreased for the first time in twelve years, we balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit at the state level without increasing taxes, and government services have improved.

This week, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a brief seeking a stay of the ruling, which would keep Act 10 in place, until the appeals process is complete.

Independent legal experts and those from both sides of the aisle already noted the judge’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and point out that seeking a stay is the responsible course of action, given the confusion caused by the judge’s flawed ruling.

While we are confident the law will be upheld, if the current ruling on Act 10 stands, it could result in public employee layoffs, increased debt for local units of government and school districts, and it could return us to a system where a handful of special interests control huge portions of our government budgets. This ruling strips power from local elected and school board officials and reduces their ability to effectively manage their budgets.

Voters spoke more than two years ago about the need to reform government, reduce spending, and balance our budget. The voters reaffirmed their decision on June 5th.
When this ruling is overturned the reforms will continue to be enacted, we will continue down the path of balanced budgets, and we’ll be able to focus on helping the people of our state create jobs.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker

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