tv [untitled] February 24, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
the proposed project in northwestern wisconsin could provide as many as at least 700 jobs at the mine and thousands across the state. now, i mentioned this idea several times during the campaign. and we've all debated this for months. now it is time for us to move forward on a project. it's not only about jobs, but also about the history of our badger state. [ applause ] our heritage in wisconsin is also built on fiscal restraint. you see, one of the most important parts of our state
contusion affirms that frugality in government leads to freedom and prosperity for our people. that's worth repeating. frugality in government leads to freedom and prosperity for our people. [ applause ] i think our founders had it right. think about it, when i spoke last january, we faced a $3.6 billion deficit. in the past, the state government took more than $1 billion away from building safe roads and bridges, illegally raided the fund to support malpractice victims and tax reciprocity. and on top of that, one-time federal stimulus money was used for ongoing costs. all these practices left us with a more than $3 billion hole to fill last year. while these poor decisions of the past left us with a major budget deficit, wisconsin was not alone. nearly every state in america faced a budget deficit in 2011.
so what did other states do? well, some like illinois raised taxes. but that only made matters worse. other states used massive layoffs to balance their budgets. we avoided that in wisconsin. some states cut core services like medicaid, but in wisconsin, we added some $1.2 billion to medicaid and our reforms allowed us to expand family care, our long-term care program for seniors all across the state. [ applause ] >> still other states used budget tricks. i didn't want to pass that on to my sons and their generation. i wanted our kids and grand kids
to grow up in a wisconsin that's at least as great as the one we inherited. [ applause ] with that in mind, we balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit with long-term structural reforms. we thought more about the next generation than we did about the next election. [ applause ] and isn't that what you elected us to do? [ applause ]
we kept our promises. it's why our ranking as a good place to create jobs actually wept up faster than any state in the country last year. [ applause ] we went from years of being ranked in the bottom ten to break into the top half of states to do business and hire people. because employers appreciate that we took our fiscal problems seriously and we addressed them with real solutions. [ applause ]
another important pledge i made was not to raise your taxes. that's even more important in a tough economy. many of us believe that the $3 billion tax increase imposed a few years ago actually led to the massive job losses in 2010. in contrast, we enacted a budget in 2011 that lowered the overall tax burden in wisconsin. [ applause ] so for the five years prior to last year, the average school tax levy increased $220 million per year. our reforms led to the first decrease in the school property tax levy in six years. [ applause ]
the total school tax levy actually went down by more than $47 million. [ applause ] that means real money in the hands of real people, people like pam petrie of rice lake. she saw her property tax bill go down by more than $100 this year. i had a great time talking to her on the phone today. she's absolutely thrilled with this. or gail griswald was surprised to see her tax bill go down, too. we heard about that from a friend she plays bridge with. our tax reform helps thousands like them all across the state. [ applause ]
still, there's more to be done to protect the taxpayers of wisconsin. last year, i pointed the bipartisan commission on waste, fraud and abuse. [ applause ] the members of that panel turned in their final report early this month, and in it, they identified over $400 million in savings for the taxpayers. we've already implemented some of the recommendations for this report and to date, these reforms have saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. that's a great start. [ applause ] but identifying waste isn't enough. we need to eliminate it. to that end, i'm announcing the waste, fraud and abuse elimination task force, charged with responsibility to follow through on that report.
because i respect the hard-working people of wisconsin, i will continue to be a good steward of the taxpayer dollars. >> liar! [ shouting ] [ applause ] >> eliminating waste, fraud and abuse is a top priority of my administration. now, just as important as saving money, our reforms help government work well in places where it does have a legitimate role, like education. as governor, i travel the state
and see great schools all the time. and as the father of two sons who go to a public school here in wisconsin, i'm reminded of that importance each and every day. i want to ensure -- i want to improve our schools and ensure that every kid, every kid, no matter what zip code they come from, every kid has access to a great education. [ applause ] fortunately we can have great schools and protect taxpayers at the same time. we just have to spend our money more wisely. for exe, school districts often had to buy their health insurance from just one company which cost them millions of dollars. now they can bid it out and that
is saving school districts millions of dollars across the state. for example, places like the heartland lakeside school district saved nearly $700,000 just by switching insurance providers. [ applause ] in north fondulac, they were able to save over $300,000. that's money that can go directly into the classroom. [ applause ] >> here's another example. a few years ago, a woman was announced the english teacher of the year. not long after the award, she was laid off. why?
under the old collective bargaining system, she was one of the first to be laid off because she was one of the last ones to be hired. didn't matter that she was one of the best teachers in the state. to correct problems like that, our reforms now allow local school districts to staff based on merit and pay based on performance. [ applause ] >> think about that. that means we can bring our best and our brightest in classrooms and we can keep them there. [ applause ] two years ago, i spoke to the convention of school board members and administrators and laid out my plan. as a candidate for governor, i
told them the system needed to be reformed and that we should empower local officials who are elected at the local level to make the decisions about their schools. and that's exactly what our reforms do. the best reminder of that came from the words of a superintendent of a small school district who said to me, now i get to go back to my office and focus on curriculum instead of on grievances. [ applause ] that's exactly what all this hard work is for, to allow our schools as well as our state and local governments to work better for the people we serve. [ applause ] >> tonight, i want to thank the many teachers and public servants from across the state of wisconsin.
[ applause ] we appreciate your hard work and dedication to serving the public. we're glad that wisconsin avoided the massive layoffsloyed in other states. [ applause ] now, looking ahead, there is much more to be done to improve our education system. no skill is as fundamental to student achievement as the ability to read. something profound happens when a student passes from third grade to fourth grade. from kindergarten to third grade, students spend the bulk of their time learning to read. but by fourth grade, our kids
must be equipped with proficient reading skills so they're no longer learning to read, but reading to learn. [ applause ] [ shouting ] >> that's why i was pleased to be joined by tony evers to put together a read to lead task force, which was a diverse group of educators, reading specialists, parents and others from across the state to create a plan for improving the reading skills of our students. in addition
to thanking dr. evers, i also want to commend representative olsen and representative jason fields, as well as each of the other task force members for working together on read to lead. [ applause ]
>> wisconsin used to lead the nation as one of the top ranked states in fourth-grade reading assessment. but by the time i took office, we sunk to the middle of the pack. we can all agree that we can and should do better. as part of our read to lead plan, we propose swift action to get our students back on top when it comes to reading. we will find screeners to assess every child entering kindergarten so we know the reading levels of each of our students to help plans to help them read at grade level. we require childcare providers to put a
new focus on reading skills and new training on early childhood development. and we will implement a more rigorous exam for elementary programs patterned off the highly successful program in massachusetts. and finally, we'll create a read to lead development council to raise support for reading programs all across wisconsin.
a study last april showed that students are four times more likely to drop out of school if they're not reading at grade t third grade. and they're 13 times more likely if you include poverty as an additional factor. it is our duty to help all of our kids learn to read early so they don't ever have to feel that learning isn't for them. [ applause ] together, our goal is developing a unique wisconsin school and accountability plan. dr. evers and i have been working with a diverse group of individuals to develop a plan to let parents, teachers and communities know which schools are performing well, so we can replicate their success, and
also we need to know which schools are failing so we can help them. ultimately, educators, parents and even employers will be able to look at the scores of schools and school districts all across the state every school that receives public funds, be it a traditional public school, a charter school or even a choice school, every school will be rated by a fair, objective and transparent system. [ applause ] we are proud of the work done by this design team and i want to again thank dr. evers and his staff for their incredible leadership and collaboration on this important project. thank you. [ applause ] tonight, i've discussed our challenges, our progress and our vision for success as we seek to create a climate for more jobs, a fiscally sound state government and an education
system that works well for all of our children. now i'm asking each of you in all parts of wisconsin to help us move our state forward. over the last year, we demonstrated our commitment to improve the climate for business here in wisconsin. tonight, i'm asking small business owners from across the state to consider hiring at least one more employee in the coming year. imagine how many more people we could get working if we all pitched in together. to continue to improve our fiscal standings so our kids inherit a state without massive deficit, i ask each of you to offer ideas how we can eliminate waste, fraud and abuse at our website, bestpractices.wi.gov. imagine how much better we can make our government work if we share good ideas and suggestions. and to improve the educational opportunities for all of our kids. i'm asking each of you to join with me and people all across the state and become a reading
mentor. now, last week, i started reading with a third grader in milwaukee. [ applause ] i read to her about science and marine life under water. she read to me out of her book about the adventures of edgar and ellen and we did a reading exercise on the computer. it was a lot of fun and i was both impressed and inspired. imagine how many kids we could inspire to be great leaders if we all reach out to our local schools. in closing, let me leave you with one final thought. years ago, when i had the honor of serving the good people in this chamber, i learned a valuable lesson -- don't personalize your differences. over the years, i passed that on to many others with a simple reminder, your opponent today may be our ally tomorrow. the people i've met traveling the state over the past year
seem to reflespect their fellow citizen. [ shouting ] >> there are people with plenty of different opinions on politics, business, religion, sports, on just about anything in the state. but what i found in most parts of the state is a sense of respect. most of the people in the state care not only for their family and friends, but for the well being of their neighbors and of their fellow citizens. that's the spirit of wisconsin. i've seen it in the faces of volunteers who show up to help after tornadoes in places like merrill or lacrosse. and i've always seen it in the faces of our men and women in uniform like the men and women from the 724th. [ applause ]
moving forward, i believe that spirit of wisconsin will help us improve the state of our economy, the state of our budget, the state of our schools and most importantly, i believe the spirit of wisconsin will help us all improve the lives of each and every citizen in our great state. now is the time for action. now is the time to get our state working again. now is the time to move wisconsin forward.
live saturday on american history tv on c-span 3, five civil war historians make their case for 1862's person of the year. the museum of the confederacy. it ends the day with the audience vote. you can join in the discussion with your calls and tweets live saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. watch our live coverage of the national governors association 2012 winter meeting being held here in washington d.c. our coverage gets under way at 10:00 eastern tomorrow with an opening news conference. a couple of breakout sessions looking at state economies. our coverage continues on sunday with a look at education and childhood hunger as well as homeland security and the role of the national guard. live coverage of the annual
national governors association winter meeting this weekend c-span. illinois governor pat quinn recently delivered his state of the state address from the state capitol in springfield. heend the national gas tax and create a for parents. this is a little over a half hour. >> please be seated. mr. governor. >> thank you. president cullerton and speaker and secretary white and comptroller and members of our general assembly, our distinguished guests and fellow
citizens of illinois, i'm here today to report to you on the state of our state. before i begin, i know i speak for all of illinois in wishing our senator mark kirk a speedy recovery. [ applause ] we're all pulling for you, mark. and i know i speak for all of illinois and all of america in thanking our service members in every branch of service who have volunteered to protect our democracy. we're here today because of everything that our service members have done for us. we are especially proud of our service members in the illinois national guard. in the early morning last december 18th, a convoy of the illinois national guard's 116th transportation company led by
their commander, captain michael barton crossed the desert into iraq. the unit made 73 dangerous trips between kuwait and iraq. they drove nearly 4 million miles. the convoy was one of the very last to leave iraq. the war was over. and today, captain barton's wife, kelly and their daughter, m myly is with us. thank you, kelly. thank you myly. thank you captain barton and thank you to the members of the illinois national guard. you're our hero. [ applause ]
i'm very proud to be the commander in chief of the illinois national guard and i'm proud to be governor of our state, illinois. it was almost three years ago to this very day that i took the oath of office at this podium during one of the darkest moments in illinois history. one former governor was in jail. another was under arrest, impeached and removed from office. both of my predecessors disgraced themselves and brought profound embarrassment to the people of our state. at the same time, our nation was in the throes of a national economic crisis based on greed
and unbecoming conduct on wall street. our large and small businesses in illinois were reeling. our automakers were in dire straits. across illinois, families were losing their jobs, losing their homes and watching their savings disappear. we were off course and adrift. lacking leadership and weighed b on the day i became governor three years ago, i promised to restore integrity to illinois ethics laws and have through campaign finance reform and establish the ability to recall a corrupt governor. we have made illinois a more hi there. by legalizing civil unions and raising the standard of care in nursing homes and abolishing the death penalty and protecting the funerals of our military men ti
measure of devotion to our democracy. we have made illinois a better state. all the while, we have never forgotten that we have to help every day people by building and growing illinois. we have invested in our state. making it a better place to do business. r working families andle of improving education. the results are in. from major export growth in the largest public works construction program in state history to solid gains in education. we're back on course and illinois is moving forward. [ applause ] we all know that the economic storm is far from over. while we have downsized illinois state government more than ever
before, we continue to face very difficult decisions to restore financial stability to our state. suffice it to say, we must have medicaid reform and public pension reform in the coming year. [ applause ] we must have. we took the first step in 2010 on public pension reform when we enacted landmark changes that will save taxpayers billions of dollars, but there is much more to do. fixing the pension problem will not be easy, but we have no choice. we must do it together and in a way that's meaningful and constitutional and fair to the employees who have faithfully contributed to the system. i have a proposed solution that can be enacted this year. i'll have more to say about t