With his family standing by, Scott Walker took the oath of office in the state Capitol rotunda Monday afternoon to become Wisconsin’s 45th Governor. Walker’s inaugural address thanked his many supporters, and then quickly moved on to outlining the Republican Governor’s agenda for the next four years.
Walker repeated his promise to make sure Wisconsin is open for business, and pledged to work tirelessly to “restore economic growth and vibrancy to our state.” He said his top three priorities are “jobs, jobs, and jobs.”
Walker’s agenda includes proposals such as restructuring the Department of Commerce and changes in how administrative rules are written. Walker also restated his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin by the year 2015 and ordered a special session of the Legislature to take up several bills in the coming weeks. Walker asked lawmakers to act swiftly on his plans, hopefully passing them by the end of February.
With the state facing a projected $3 billion budget hole as he takes office, Walker promised to close that gap without raids on segregated funds or raising taxes. He said such action would only serve to counter efforts to create economic growth.
The inaugural speech was also filled with warnings about the need to decrease the size of state government, with Walker saying expansive state government is failing the people of Wisconsin. Under his administration, Walker says the state will do only what is needed, and government will be smaller and better.
Walker’s swearing in followed the inauguration of Republican Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Republican state Treasurer Kurt Schuller. Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette did not attend the ceremony, but took the oath of office at an earlier date.