Doyle gives State of State address
MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle says he'll do all he can during his final year in office to help Wisconsin businesses create jobs. In his eighth annual State-of-the-State address last night, the Democrat Doyle urged lawmakers to pass some ambitious measures remaining on his agenda.
They include his package to fight global warming by requiring more renewable energy - and giving Milwaukee's mayor control of the city's schools. Both measures face heavy opposition, some of it from members of his own party in the Legislature.
Doyle also warned lawmakers that more budget cuts will be needed, but he was not specific. He defended his record on taxes, saying he protected the middle class. But Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau called Doyle's remarks a "work of fiction" that tries to make people forget the over two-billion-dollars in tax-and-fee hikes in the current state budget. One plan Doyle pushed last night would create a regional transit authority for Milwaukee that could impose a half-percent sales tax for a commuter rail system.
The governor also called for a constitutional amendment to tax homes and businesses at different levels, so homeowners could get direct property tax relief. Voters rejected the same amendment a couple decades ago.