Assembly Joint Resolution 2
Relating to: creation of a department of transportation, creation of a transportation fund, and deposit of funds into the transportation fund (second consideration).
hist2005Read a second time.
Senator Petrowski moved that Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to Assembly Joint Resolution 2 be laid on the table.
hist2006The question was: Shall Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to Assembly Joint Resolution 2 be laid on the table?
The ayes and noes were demanded and the vote was: ayes, 19; noes, 14; absent or not voting, 0; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Carpenter, Cowles, Darling, Ellis, Farrow, S. Fitzgerald, Grothman, Gudex, Harsdorf, Kedzie, Lasee, Lazich, Leibham, Moulton, Olsen, Petrowski, Schultz, Tiffany and Vukmir - 19.
Noes - Senators T. Cullen, Erpenbach, Hansen, Harris, Jauch, C. Larson, Lassa, Lehman, Miller, Risser, Shilling, Taylor, Vinehout and Wirch - 14.
Absent or not voting - None.
hist2007Ordered to a third reading.
hist2008Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that the bill be considered for final action at this time.
Assembly Joint Resolution 2
hist2014Read a third time.
The question was: Concurrence of Assembly Joint Resolution 2?
The ayes and noes were required and the vote was: ayes, 25; noes, 8; absent or not voting, 0; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Carpenter, Cowles, Darling, Ellis, Erpenbach, Farrow, S. Fitzgerald, Grothman, Gudex, Hansen, Harsdorf, Kedzie, Lasee, Lassa, Lazich, Leibham, Moulton, Olsen, Petrowski, Schultz, Shilling, Tiffany, Vinehout, Vukmir and Wirch - 25.
Noes - Senators T. Cullen, Harris, Jauch, C. Larson, Lehman, Miller, Risser and Taylor - 8.
Absent or not voting - None.
Concurred in.
Assembly Bill 3
Relating to: the exclusion of veterinarians from the prescription drug monitoring program.
hist2015Read a second time.
hist2016Ordered to a third reading.
hist2017Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that the bill be considered for final action at this time.
Assembly Bill 3
hist2018Read a third time and concurred in.
Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that all action be immediately messaged to the Assembly:
hist2025Senate Bill 10
hist2026Assembly Joint Resolution 2
hist2027Assembly Bill 3
Announcements, Adjournment Honors, and Remarks Under
Special Privilege
Senator Jauch, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of the Superior Days delegates, who come down each year from the north and talk about the area they care so much about it. This wonderful, grassroots event has been going on for 27 years.
Senator Wirch, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of Gene Aiello. Gene was an avid fisherman, golfer, sausage maker, and a veteran. Gene loved gardening and died doing what he loved to do, ice fishing. He will be missed by friends and family.
Senator Wirch, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of his nephew, Jeff Wirch. Jeff is a biology teacher at Bradford High School who has been chosen by Kenosha Unified School District as one of the Teachers of the Year. The Senator and his family are very proud of him.
Senator Cullen, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of his brother, Tom Cullen, who was in the Capitol for a visit.
Senator Taylor, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of Black History Month. She would like to honor those individuals who made it possible for her to stand in the Chambers today.
Senator Vukmir, with unanimous consent, asked that when the Senate adjourn, it do so in honor of Zabelle Malkasian, the grandmother of the Joint Finance Committee clerk, Joe Malkasian, who passed away February, 3, 2013. Zabelle was appointed by 2 Wisconsin governors and 3 Wauwatosa mayors to a variety of task forces and boards. She was also appointed to the state affirmative action council. Zabelle is survived by her son Bill Malkasian, grandchildren Joe and Megan Malkasian, and great-grandson Elijah Malkasian.
President Pro Tempore Leibham appointed Senator Tiffany and Senator Lassa to escort his Excellency, the Governor, to the Joint Convention.
Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate recess until 6:30 P.M. for the purpose of awaiting the Governor’s Budget Address in Joint Convention in the Assembly Chambers at 7:00 P.M., and further, that the Senate stand adjourned until Tuesday, February 26, 2013, pursuant to Senate Resolution 1, upon the rising of the Joint Convention.
2:15 P.M.
The Senate proceeded in a body to the Assembly Chamber to meet in Joint Convention to receive the Budget Address.
6:45 P.M.
In Assembly Chamber In Joint Convention
Senate President Ellis in the chair.
The Committee to wait upon the Governor appeared with his Excellency the Honorable Governor Scott Walker, who delivered his message as follows:
7:00 P.M.
Speaker Vos, Speaker Pro Tem Kramer, President Ellis, Majority Leader Fitzgerald, Minority Leader Larson, Minority Leader Barca, members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Constitutional Officers, tribal leaders, members of the Cabinet, distinguished guests, members of the Legislature, most importantly, fellow citizens of the great state of Wisconsin, it is an honor to appear before you tonight.
Before we get started, I would like to introduce the First Lady of Wisconsin, my wife, Tonette
Sitting next to my wife is Major General Don Dunbar, the Adjutant General of Wisconsin.  General Dunbar, thank you to you and to all of the men and women of the Wisconsin National Guard. 
Next to General Dunbar is Sgt. Luis Cortes-Avila, who just returned home from eleven months of being deployed with the 1157th Transportation Company out of Oshkosh.  Like the other soldiers in his unit, he performed his mission well and returned home safely, but one thing was extra special for Sgt. Cortes-Avila.
On November 2nd, thousands of miles away from his home in Oshkosh, Luis became an American citizen.  With the help of his platoon, who would quiz him as they would go to and from the motor pool, Sgt. Cortes-Avila passed his citizenship exam and took his oath while serving in Afghanistan.  Congratulations.  Recently, Sgt. Cortes-Avila told me when he was a baby, his family moved to California from Mexico.  Later, when he was 11, his family moved to Wisconsin. 
Sgt. Cortes-Avila mentioned how much his parents gave up for him and his brothers, so their children could have the freedoms that citizens have here.  They wanted their kids to grow up having a choice to do what they wanted to do in life.  His parents made incredible sacrifices so their children could live the American Dream.  Now, their son Luis is an American citizen and a proud veteran.  We salute you.
Tonight, I want to share with each of you our ambitious plans to help more people live the American Dream—right here in Wisconsin.
Our focus is simple—more prosperity, better performance and true independence.
Going into this budget, we face a much different set of circumstances than we did two years ago.  At the start of 2011, Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion budget deficit and the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.  At the time, I stated that moderation and frugality in government would lead to freedom and prosperity for our people.
Two years later and Wisconsin has a budget surplus and our unemployment rate is down to 6.6 percent.  It wasn't easy, but we're turning Wisconsin around.
This allows us to invest in our priorities—priorities I've talked about in every corner of our state over the past few months—creating jobs, developing the workforce, transforming education, reforming government, and investing in our infrastructure.
This evening, I will share with you how our budget will help bring more prosperity to the people of Wisconsin; how we'll improve the performance of our needed government services; and how we'll push reforms that help people transition from government dependence to true independence.  Bottom line—I want more freedom and prosperity for all.
Improving the economy is my number one priority.  Over the past two years, we lowered our overall tax burden, we streamlined the regulatory process—so what we do enforce is about common sense and not government red tape—and we put limits on lawsuit abuse that was a hurdle for small businesses and farmers.
These positive changes to our business climate are part of the reason why 93 percent of the businesses surveyed by the statewide chamber now say Wisconsin is headed in the right direction, versus just 10 percent who thought the same in 2010.  Chief Executive Magazine moved Wisconsin up from 41 to number 20 on the list of best states to do business in and Site Selection Magazine moved us up to number 13.
We’re turning things around.  We’re heading in the right direction.  We’re moving Wisconsin forward.
To keep this positive momentum going, we need to do more.  One of the best ways to grow our economy is to put more money back into the hands of the people and small businesses of the state.
With this in mind, I am pleased to announce an income tax cut of $343 million. You, the hardworking taxpayers of this state helped to create the budget surplus, so it is only right that we put more money back into your hands.  Over the next decade, this will lower income taxes $1.7 billion.
We reversed the trend in Wisconsin in the last budget when we lowered the overall tax burden.  Now we are lowering taxes on middle class taxpayers, by specifically reducing the rates for the middle- and bottom-three tax brackets.  This will ensure a tax cut for everyone with the focus on making Wisconsin more competitive for middle class taxpayers and small businesses.  This will truly stimulate the economy. 
Think about it—more money in the hands of taxpayers will likely drive greater demand for goods and services, which will likely lead to greater production and eventually more hiring of employees.  Overall, this would lead to more jobs for the people of Wisconsin. 
Our middle class tax cut is a down payment on my goal of reducing the tax burden in our state every year I'm in office.  I want to cut taxes over and over and over again until we are leading the country in economic recovery. 
In addition to driving down individual income taxes, our budget will hold the line on property taxes.   In the decade prior to my taking office, property taxes went up 27 percent.  In contrast, in each of the past two years, property taxes on a median-valued home actually went down. 
Keeping property taxes affordable is important for working families and senior citizens all across Wisconsin.  In December, I received a wonderful card that sums up why this is so important to people from across the state.  I have it right here – it reads:
Dear Gov. Walker,
I am a resident of Brown Deer and just received my property tax bill and it went down.  Seeing that Brown Deer won’t thank you, I will!!  Nobody will give you any credit for that, but we do and we back you with everything you do!  You are for the state and great Lord bless you and yours,
Edward Zelhofer
Thank you for the card Mr. Zelhofer.  You will be happy to know that this state budget continues to put a focus on property tax relief. 
Higher taxes would slow our improving economy.  With this in mind, this budget does not include a gas tax increase or a vehicle registration fee bump.
Overall, our budget includes more than $630 million in tax cuts.  Let me repeat that, our budget includes more than $630 million in tax cuts.  In addition to helping the middle class, our tax cuts support small businesses and key Wisconsin industries like manufacturing and agriculture.
Combined, a family of four, with Mom and Dad making about $40,000 each would save $272 dollars from the income and property tax relief in our budget.  Over the next decade, this family stands to save more than $1,000 in income taxes alone. 
Our tough, but prudent, decisions two years ago put us in a position to further reduce the tax burden of our citizens, while still investing in our priorities. Compare that to the tax increases enacted and proposed in our neighboring states.  And the folks in Washington, D.C., provide an even starker contrast to our positive results. 
To tell the Wisconsin success story, our budget includes significant resources to market our improving business climate.  We did the same thing in our last budget with new resources for tourism marketing.
Tourism had a $16 billion impact on the state’s economy a year ago, up 8 percent from the previous year.   In this budget, we continue that support and expand our efforts to attract international visitors and to increase the number of meetings and conventions in Wisconsin. 
As much as we love attracting new employers and visitors to our state, we really need to focus on helping start new businesses in Wisconsin.  Our budget expands the Capital Catalyst program we just kicked off in Eau Claire and in Whitewater.  This program helps new entrepreneurs take that first big step.
Two of those entrepreneurs are here tonight.   Andrew Hoeft is a student at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, who created a new company called Date Check Pro, which helps grocery stores track the expiration date on merchandise.  He got the idea after working at a Festival Foods store in Onalaska.