What will Walker say in third State of State speech?
Jay Sorgi and the Associated Press
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker plans to deliver his third State of the State speech to the Republican-controlled Legislature.
A political expert says that the speech will not only discuss his plans for the next two years of his governorship, but essentially begin his effort to win re-election in a year and 10 months.
"It's a budget cycle and a re-election cycle. The State of the State and the budget address act in concert to set the tone for the next two years and the re-election run in 2014," explained Jeff Mayers of WisPolitics on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"You get the hard and controversial stuff in the next two years, and then you concentrate on bread-and-butter things in the next two years, like tax cuts and jobs, that he hopes will carry him through to win re-election."
The speech before a joint meeting of the Legislature is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday
Walker is expected to talk about his priorities in general, with more details to come when he releases his two-year state spending plan in February.
Walker has said he wants to focus on cutting income taxes, reforming schools, boosting infrastructure, workforce development and creating jobs.
Democrats and other Walker critics say his tenure has been a failure because he's nowhere near meeting his 2010 campaign pledge to create 250,000 private sector jobs.
In response to that, Mayers believes that Walker will spin a positive tone Tuesday night.
"He'll contend that he's on his way, that things are a lot better than it was two years ago. The state's fiscal picture has improved, that unemployment is down, business creations are up," said Mayers.
Will Walker keep with the not-so-controversial policies and avoid the type of rancor that led to the collective bargaining battles and other political clashing in his first two years in office?
"Democrats are skeptical. (Some believe) it may just wait until after Walker wins re-election, and then all the controversial stuff will come back in avengence."