Our Blueprint for Prosperity will put more than $800 million back into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers all across the state through tax cuts and withholding changes. Once passed, the total tax relief provided since I took office will be roughly $2 billion.
Tonight, I am pleased to announce the start of a year-long initiative called A Better Bottom Line--it's about employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Make no mistake, A Better Bottom Line is not about charity. A Better Bottom Line means helping both the individual and the company do well. We are looking for ways to help employers hire people who will add value to their organizations.
A few might say these individuals have disabilities, but I want to talk about their unique abilities in the workplace. In 2014, I will highlight employers, who find the unique abilities and hire people with disabilities.
To keep these positive trends going, we put in place the manufacturing and agriculture production tax credit last year. Now, if you are an employer in one of these key industries, you should look at growing in Wisconsin as this credit will eventually wipe out almost all of your taxable liability. That is a really big deal because it gives you the opportunity to invest the capital necessary to help create more jobs. This program is a game changer for employers in manufacturing and agriculture.
We made major investments in agriculture this year. At the University of Wisconsin, we are expanding the Dairy Resource Center at Babcock Hall and building a new Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory.
We are proud to be America's Dairyland, but we are also one of the top states for corn, soybeans, potatoes, cherries, and other foods. Many may be surprised to know we are the number one producer of cranberries in the US. And 95% of the ginseng exported to China comes from our state. Last April, we signed a ten-year agreement while on my trade mission in China worth between $150 and $200 million.
Not only is Asia a major market for our ginseng, many people now come to north central Wisconsin to tour our ginseng operations. Food- and beverage-related tourism continues to grow. From tours of breweries, cheese factories, and even spice operations, Wisconsin is a great destination.
For those living above poverty, we transition them into the marketplace. I believe Medicaid is for those living in poverty, and our goal should be to help lift more and more people out of the depths of economic despair.
Our Wisconsin Plan is unique as we are able to cover everyone living in poverty, reduce the number of uninsured, and still not expose Wisconsin taxpayers to the uncertain potential cost of the federal Medicaid expansion.
Helping more people transition from government dependence to true independence is not only good for the taxpayers, it is good for employers, too. Most importantly, it is good for the people, who can now control their own lives and their own destinies.
The above quotations are from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts from 2014 Governor's State of the State speeches.
Click here for other excerpts by Scott Walker.
Click here for other excerpts by other Governors.
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