October 20, 2014

Republicans roll out new jobs package

Governor Scott Walker and majority Republicans in the Legislature are rolling out eight bills aimed at boosting job numbers in Wisconsin. The legislation includes measures designed to train more workers for high-demand jobs like manufacturing. The package would spend $8.5 million in state funds, with an extra $14 million in federal funds.

One bill would add a $1 million to the state’s Youth Apprenticeship Program. Another would provide scholarships to top students who pursue technical education. The most expensive bill comes from Democrats. Stevens Point Representative Katrina Shankland and La Crosse Senator Jennifer Shilling have proposed $4 million for vocational rehab services to help those with disabilities.

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) expects the entire package to be approved by the end of the year. Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca calls the measures “too little too late,” and inadequate for a state that’s lagging behind the nation in creating jobs.