MacIver News Service | May 6, 2013[Rothschild, Wisc…] Governor Scott Walker drew wide support from Republican Party members this past weekend for school choice, his decision to reject the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare, entitlement reforms, and his income tax cut.
Walker delivered remarks to about 1,000 Republican Party of Wisconsin delegates and members at their state convention on Saturday. The Governor enlisted the party faithful to support his budget and the reforms he proposed.
While Walker has received pushback from some Republican legislators for his proposed expansion of school choice to failing school districts, members of the state party showed their enthusiasm with multiple standing ovations during Walker’s speech.
Walker made it clear that school choice will be a part of his budget. “Every child in this state must have access to a great education,” Walker said, “And we are going to give them the choice for their families to make the best choice for their sons and daughters.”
The Governor explained that school choice is about the students in the classroom and challenging the status quo of what he called the “education bureaucracy.”
Convention attendees gave Walker another standing ovation when he explained his reasons for turning down the Medicaid expansion. The Governor said his reforms are about moving people from reliance on government to self-reliance and reducing the amount of people on Medicaid is a part of that goal.
“When it comes to health care and Medicaid in this state, our measures should be to both to reduce the number of people who are uninsured and reduce the number of people on Medicaid, dependent on the government, which is precisely why we didn’t take the Medicaid expansion,” Walker said to a round of applause.
The Governor also spoke about his proposed entitlement reforms. Walker’s plan would require people on food stamps to get a job or participate in a job-training program. It would also require those collecting unemployment compensation to search for a job four times per week, instead of just two.
Walker said this would help move people from government dependence to independence.
“I love the people of Wisconsin so much that I don’t want them to become permanently dependent on the government. I’m not making it harder to get government assistance. I’m making it easier to get a job,” Walker said.
The Governor also asked those in attendance to support his proposed income tax cut and tax reform. Walker’s tax cut would decrease rates for the bottom three tax brackets and reduce the overall income tax burden by $343 million over the biennium.
Walker said to attendees, “We need to continue to push forward tax reform that relieves the burden of high property taxes, and income taxes, and sales taxes on the hardworking taxpayers of this state.”
The state convention was held near Wausau on Friday and Saturday and had nearly 1,000 attendees.