Gubernatorial Talking Points Part II

Scott Walker:

  • In the four years before Gov. Walker took office, Wisconsin lost nearly 134,000 jobs and unemployment was 9.2 percent. Today, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3 percent and over 100,000 private sector jobs have been created.
  • In 2010, a mere 10 percent of employers said Wisconsin was headed in the right direction. In 2013, 94 percent said the state is headed in the right direction.
  • In 2010, Wisconsin was ranked 41st in CEO Magazine’s Best States for Business. Under Gov. Walker’s watch the state has moved to 24th – the largest one-year improvement of any state in the history of the rankings.
  • Under his tenure, per capita personal income growth has been climbing, reaching 7th in the nation in 2013. Under the previous administration it never ranked better than 30th
  • Under his tax reform plan a median income family will realize $403 in income tax rate savings in 2013 and 2014
  • Under Gov. Walker, more than 19,900 net new businesses have been established. This has been fostered through measures like: Investing $25 million into investment capital, signing a law to expand startup investing, allowing businesses to raise up to $1 million from investors through crowdfunding portals, and cutting income and property taxes
  • He invested more than $100 million in worker training to encourage workers to be trained or retrained for high demand fields. The program also allows customized worker training grants if the result is an increase in employee wages.
  • Walker enacted the first back-to-back tuition freeze in the history of the University of Wisconsin system. In the decade prior, tuition never rose less than 5.5%
  • To further increase affordability, he indexed the income phase out for the Higher Education Tuition Tax Deduction. This will allow more families to benefit as incomes grow over time
  • He launched an innovative program that allows students to learn at their own pace and test out of courses early. The program is geared towards making higher education more accessible to adult learners and to stop the waste associated with learning material students already know
  • He created IdeAdvance which helps entrepreneurs get feedback on how to market their opportunities and pursue commercialization. It also provides seed money and helps people navigate the funding process

Rick Snyder

  • Good quote: “Tomorrow’s opportunities cannot be realized with yesterday’s skills. It’s time to develop the next generation of talent. Today’s young employees will have multiple careers in their lifetimes. The skills they attain must be marketable and transferrable. We need to align the aptitudes and career passions of job seekers with the current and evolving needs of employers.”
  • And another: “It’s not government, though, that creates jobs. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the engine of job creation. It’s up to government to help create the environment where jobs can grow.”
  • Prior to Gov. Snyder’s term, Michigan led the country in joblessness, reduced income levels and loss of population.
  • Under Snyder’s leadership, more than 230,000 new private sector jobs have been created since December 2010 and the state has led the nation in adding manufacturing jobs. As a result, the state’s unemployment rate has fallen from a high of 14.2 percent to 7.4 percent.
  • Gross Domestic Product, per capita income and jobs have all grown faster than the national average. .
  • The increased optimism can be seen by the number of people flocking to the state. Prior to Gov. Snyder’s term Michigan was the only state in the nation to lose population in the last decade. But under Snyder’s watch the state has seen two consecutive years of growth. The last time that happened in Michigan was 2003 and 2004
  • Under his most recent budget community colleges received a $35.5 million increase (3 percent) and universities received an additional $80 million, a 6.1 percent increase. In return, Snyder capped tuition increases at 75 percent for the current school year and the current budget will lower the cap to 3.2 percent for next year.
  • He’s pursuing innovative avenues to keep college costs down. For instance, he’s incentivizing dual enrollment so high school students can earn college credits, which reduces the time and expense of bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. He’s also created apprenticeship programs that allow students to alternate working for a company, where they get paid, and going to school, which is paid for by the employer. This way, students are achieving a useful degree with no education debt.
  • He has revised or eliminated 878 outdated or burdensome rules that block innovation, growth and job creation

Paul LePage


  • LePage is the definition of someone who worked hard to succeed despite having all of the odds against them. After his father broke Lepage’s nose when he was 11 years old he left home and never went back. He remained homeless for the next few years before two families jointly “adopted” him. After that, he worked his way from washing dishes, to attending college, to achieving an MBA from the University of Maine, to forming a consulting firm that carried out significant business turnarounds, to being elected as the Mayor of Waterville.
  • In his first year in office he passed the state’s largest ever tax cut and lowered the top income tax rate from 8.5 to 7.95 percent.
  • Since Gov. LePage took office more than 20,000 new private sector jobs have been created.
  • He’s beginning to change the culture of Maine’s government to one that is “open for business.” For instance, he designated a person at every state agency to act as a business liaison who will help companies navigate regulatory systems.
  • LePage is working to empower small businesses and micro-enterprises (fewer than 5 employees) by increasing access to start-up funding and collaborating to expand internet in rural parts of the state.
  • He has begun to implement reforms to improve the workforce for young adults. For instance, he has proposed a scholarship program for students pursuing a degree in STEM-related fields and a tax break for state employers who hire and pay the loans for Maine graduates.
  • Quote: “Not only are we not providing adequate jobs for kids coming out of college, we’re taxing them right from the start. There are opportunities, but the problem is many of our graduates come out of school and they have to find an apartment, they have to pay student loans, they have to pay a car loan.”


Terry Branstad


  • Iowa’s unemployment rate sits at 6 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of 5.9 percent
  • Iowa was recently listed as the third best state for young people based on factors like the youth unemployment rate, the percentage of the population aged 20-24, and the average cost of higher education.
  • Branstad recently proposed higher education reforms aimed at reducing the cost of college at state schools. One innovation is the fixed-price degree that will encourage colleges to create bachelor degree programs for less than $10,000 in total tuition, just $2,000 more than the annual costs of instate tuition at Iowa State.
  • Branstad has also proposed a plan to reduce student debt through a tax credit program where businesses are granted tax breaks if they donate to charities that earn a designation as a “student debt reduction organization.” Graduates who perform community service for the organization would have part of their debt paid off using funds given by the donors who received the tax credit.
  • He has also successfully worked with the Iowa Board of Regents to freeze tuition at state universities for two years in a row, something that has not been accomplished in decades.
  • Quote: “We are reducing the cost of higher education and making it more affordable for Iowans because I know that education is the key to getting good job opportunities,” said Governor Branstad. “The biggest export used to be our children, and now, when the Lieutenant Governor and I meet with these young people, we find many of them are entrepreneurs. They want to start their own business. They want to stay in Iowa.”
  • He recently announced plans to develop a new public-private partnership called the Center for Human Capital Enrichment that will streamline efforts to match skilled workers with employers.
  • He launched a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs to find technical and financial resources that are already available in Iowa to meet their specific business needs.