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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

 1:29 PM 

Walker outlines state help for manufacturers in conference address

Speaking in Milwaukee today, Gov. Scott Walker told manufacturers he wants the state to help them control costs and partner with them.

Walker spoke at the Manufacturing Matters! conference put on by Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He said the state can help manufacturers control costs by reducing the tax burden, making common-sense environmental regulations, and preventing frivolous lawsuits.

“One of the things I was most proud of in the budget I signed into law was we included a manufacturing and agricultural based tax credit,”

Walker said as he travels the state he feels “almost like a traveling salesman” explaining how effective the tax credit can be.

He also said the DNR has become more effective. Walker said at a visit to an aluminum plant in Manitowoc it was music to his ears that the company felt the DNR was almost like a consultant helping the company comply with regulations. Walker added it isn’t about helping companies get around regulations.

“What we’re talking about is streamlining the regulations so that what we enforce is about common sense,” he said.

Walker’s speech to the conference came less than 12 hours after he spoke at election night rally in Waukesha.

His election night speech was animated and he criticized Tom Barrett for Milwaukee’s economic condition. In contrast, Walker’s speech this morning was measured and toned down.

However, Walker touched on many of the same themes in both addresses. In particular, he said the state’s job climate has improved since he took office, noting 6,500 net new manufacturing jobs created in 2012.

He also said the recall elections are a concern for companies considering adding jobs.

“I'm not going to talk about politics here today, but that’s just a statement of fact,” Walker said. “It was listed at the top of these surveys, the biggest concern about adding jobs was the impact of what was going to happen in these recall elections.”

-- By Arthur Thomas.

WisPolitics Platinum subscribers will see more from Walker's speech in today's PM Update.

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