As Governor Scott Walker prepares to deliver his sixth State of the State address, one political observer expects it will fall short of breaking any new ground when it comes to policy proposals.
Marquette University Law School political scientist Charles Franklin says the governor is likely to present a rather “limited agenda” to lawmakers and the public, due largely to the shortness of the legislative session and the fact that it’s not a budget year. Franklin says bold policy initiatives will likely have to wait until next spring.
The governor is expected to focus portions of his speech on items he’s been traveling the state to discuss in recent weeks. Those issues college affordability and education funding, as well as “the idea that employers in the state have openings but can’ find people to fill them.”
The governor is coming off a year where he spent much of his time on the campaign trail in a failed presidential run. Franklin notes that Walker spent much of 2015 letting he Republican-controlled legislature set the agenda, with him signing on to proposals such as right-to-work and overhauling the Government Accountability Board after they were already introduced. Franklin says a key to watch for tonight will be whether he offers any original policy proposals that don’t already have a bill associated with them.
Walker will deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at seven this evening.