I am vetoing Senate Bill 384 in its entirety. The bill creates the Wisconsin Advantage Jobs Training Program and allows a technical college district to contract with a business located in the district to provide worker training programs and other assistance if the contract is approved by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.
Specifically, the bill allows a technical college system board, either on its own or jointly with any other entity, to enter into a contract with a business in its district to provide training for jobs created or retained by the business; adult basic education programs; vocational and skill-assessment services; training facilities, equipment and materials; or professional services. Under the bill, a district board may not increase its tax levy to support a training program initiated under this section.
The Wisconsin Technical College System is critical to the health of Wisconsin's economy and the services that it provides to businesses in Wisconsin are vital in ensuring that the workforce in Wisconsin remains of the highest caliber. Senate Bill 384, however, does not enhance the ability of the Wisconsin Technical College System to provide worker training services to businesses.
This bill does nothing to improve working training in our state, since Technical College districts already have the power to enter into contracts with businesses to provide training. Unfortunately, the bill actually represents a step backward, because it pits job training against other worthy economic development projects as part of the Wisconsin Development Fund.
Since the day I unveiled my Grow Wisconsin plan, I have urged the Legislature to take action on my worker training program, making important strategic investments in our workforce. The Legislature missed the boat in failing to pass Senate Bill 310 – part of Grow Wisconsin – to create a new worker training program, with funding resources, to assist businesses that increase their workforce or make significant capital investments in their company. SB 310 represents real, meaningful improvements in job training that will help our workers earn their way up the economic ladder. The bill I am vetoing today falls far short of this, and is actually a step backward.
Finally, I am vetoing this bill and Senate Bill 451 because they represent a troubling departure from the longstanding and important practice of including appropriations in bills that require funding. The Legislature tried to separate the proposal into two separate bills, instead of allowing the proposal to be evaluated in its entirety. These types of legislative games are not in the interests of good public policy, and are a disservice to the people of Wisconsin. The Legislature should be advised that I am not likely to look favorably on future efforts to split bills away from their appropriations. Respectfully submitted, JIM DOYLE Governor