Gov. Walker's second special session on jobs gets under way in the Wisconsin Legislature

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September 29, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

By Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: Today marked the beginning of the Wisconsin Legislature's second special session on jobs this year. Gov. Scott Walker, citing his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs by 2015, officially ordered the session yesterday with an executive order.

Walker stated, “The main goal of this special session [is] to create as much certainty as we can for employers and workers at the state level so they can create jobs. By calling another special session, we show that jobs remain at the front of our agenda.”[1]

Democrats, meanwhile, reacted skeptically to the announcement, saying the governor's agenda was more about rehabbing his public image than actually creating jobs. Additionally, it was a reminder of the first special session on jobs Walker called on his first day in office. It was at that session that the controversial bill targeting the union rights of public workers was first introduced. It would turn out to be the catalyst that led to recall elections against nine incumbent senators, two of which ultimately lost their seats.

Rep. Donna Seidel (D) said of the session, "Well, here we go again. It seems to take a lot of nerve to propose this agenda ... Item after item won't help create jobs."[2]

Under the rules of a special session, the governor sets the agenda. Walker included 26 pieces of legislation in his executive order, among which are following issues:[3]

  • Creating tax refunds for investing in businesses
  • Increasing grants for technical colleges
  • Lowering application fees for film production tax credits
  • Allowing utilities to offer industrial customers discounted electricity if it promotes economic development
  • Limiting interest on civil judgment awards

The special session will run concurrently with regular session days in October and November.


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