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Reality Check: Did Walker deliver on goals for 2012?

Published On: Jan 14 2013 09:28:38 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 09:42:48 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Gov. Scott Walker will present his third State of the State address Tuesday night and is expected to begin to roll out budget plans for the next two years.

WISC-TV took a look at whether Walker delivered on the goals he set for 2012.

Last year's State of the State address was criticized for being long on lauding accomplishments and short on new goals.

"Tonight I'm happy to report that after three years of losing 150,000 jobs Wisconsin actually added thousands of new jobs in 2011. New business formations are up by over 2 percent, and our unemployment rate is down from a year ago," Walker said in last year's State of the State address.

Unemployment was at 6.9 percent in January 2012, when the governor gave this address, which was down from 7.7 percent in January 2011.

The most recent numbers show a 6.7 percent unemployment rate in November 2012 but it's only recently that low. The unemployment rate was above 7 percent for much of 2012.

As for the jobs, at last count Politifact Wisconsin said that so far around 37,000 total jobs have been created since Walker's term began, far short of his goal of creating 250,000 jobs in four years.

But Walker laid out plans last year he said would help businesses create jobs.

"With this in mind, we introduced our Wisconsin Working jobs plan. In it, we double the number of job fairs, add staff to connect people to employment, make it easier for job seekers to get needed skills and we prepare to do more to promote manufacturing," Walker said.

WISC-TV found this is true. The state Department of Workforce Development held 361 job fairs in the last year compared to 47 in 2011, many of them specifically targeted at veterans.

They also hired 16 new staff to work with the unemployed to develop skills and provide career assistance.

"Tonight, I'm announcing new members to the small business regulatory review board, which has the authority to review every rule in all of our state agencies. I will direct our agencies to work with them to remove antiquated and unnecessary regulations that pose a threat to creating new jobs," Walker said.

WISC-TV found this needs clarification. So far, this review board has only directed agencies to look at rules across government. It hasn't taken action on removing anything.

But a source familiar with the governor's remarks for Tuesday night said he will have an update on this front.

"We can pass legislation that will streamline the process for safe and environmentally sound mining. I mentioned this idea several times during the campaign, and we've debated it for months. Now it is time for Wisconsin to move forward on a project that is not only about jobs but also about the history of our Badger state," Walker said.

This could be seen as the biggest failure of the governor's plans in the last year. A proposed mining bill made it through the state Assembly on party lines but got hung up in the state Senate, where there were objections about environmental provisions in the bill.

The governor and Republican lawmakers have already said a mining bill will be their first major priority in this legislative session.

Channel 3000 will livestream the governor's speech at 7 p.m. Tuesday. "News 3 at 10" will offer live team coverage, reaction and in-depth analysis of the governor's priorities and the outlook for the Legislature.

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