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2017 State of the State reaction

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester

Robin Vos On Walker’s position on transportation, which is to not increase the gas tax or user fees without a corresponding tax cut elswhere: “That’s the preferred option for all of us, but I also think it’s not responsible for us to take part of the equation off the table until we see the breadth of the problem.”

On Walker’s tuition cut plan: “My focus is on making sure that we have access so that students get to graduate in four years and that we have a reasonable price for tuition. So I’m open-minded, but I have yet to be persuaded that that is a priority for the Legislature.”

On Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack seeking a bump in pay for judges: “I don’t think it should just be judges. … My preference would always be to give all workers who work hard the opportunity for a raise if there’s enough money.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau

Scott Fitzgerald “Today’s address demonstrated Governor Walker’s continued commitment to the conservative principles that have defined Wisconsin under Republican leadership.

Over the last three legislative sessions, we have balanced the budget, lowered the tax burden on Wisconsin’s residents by nearly five billion dollars, and ensured that Wisconsin has the lowest unemployment rate in fifteen years with a higher percentage of people working than nearly every other state in the nation. As the Governor iterated in today’s remarks: we will not stop there. The Senate joins Governor Walker in a commitment to build upon the abundant achievements of recent years."

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse

Jennifer Shilling On Walker’s address, which she said “painted a rosy picture of the state”: “If you talk to the majority of Wisconsinites in this state they feel like it’s an economy that’s not working for them.”

On transportation funding: “To simply say that we are going to delay projects, we’re going to do bonding, that doesn’t fix this two years from now, and we are going to continue to limp forward without a real long-term fix.”

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha

Peter Barca On Walker touting his refusal to turn down federal funding for the Medicaid expansion: “It was startling to hear the governor say today what a good decision it was to turn down that Medicaid dollars. I mean we turned down hundreds of millions of dollars that our taxpayers in Wisconsin had to make up the difference.”

On Walker's plan to cut UW tuition for undergrads: “The problem has been that he’s never funded the freeze, so I can’t imagine that he’d fund a decreased tuition.”

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills and Joint Finance Committee co-chair

Alberta Darling On Walker’s call to decrease tuition for WIsconsin residents in UW System schools: "The Legislature will be debating capping and cutting, but I think when they are told that the governor’s budget will backfill the cuts in the tuition with GPR and the university system is not going to be cut, I think more people will be looking at it a little more favorably."

On the UW System's budget request for $42.5 million more in state aid and about $78 million to boost pay for its employees: "We’ll have to see how much money we have and then how we want to prioritize that money."

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette and Joint Finance Committee co-chair

John Nygren On what Walker’s call for a “significant” increase to K-12 education funding means: “Significant, I mean I think it’s significant to him, and significant to schools throughout the state, may not be on the same parallel, but we’ll find that out in the future.”

On UW-Madison’s “Problem of Whiteness” course: “I personally am not picking fights with the UW, I’m not sending out press releases on some of the things my colleagues are being critical of, but the constituents I represent -- 70 percent of our state at least from a geographic standpoint -- votes pretty conservative and thinks pretty conservative, so when they have questioning male masculinity, or the problem with whiteness, I get a lot of constituents question what crazy stuff’s going on within the System.“

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