Walker visits Wausau, discusses work in Madison - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walker visits Wausau, discusses work in Madison


 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Governor Scott Walker returns to central Wisconsin to visit with the people he calls the working middle class in Wausau. He said he's trying to bring new jobs to the state, but another important part of his plan includes keeping workers who are already here in business.

"We couldn't afford to have a downturn in our company," said Piper Products president and owner Tony Sweeney. "We had a pretty high debt load and so at that time we had to make some pretty tough choices."

Sweeney said his company has seen some hard times in the past, but his employees work hard to keep him in business. Shops like his stand to take a hit any time taxes go up. Governor Walker said he won't increases taxes, as an effort to keep businesses on track.

"Jobs aren't about Republican jobs or Democratic jobs," said Walker. "They're ultimately about Wisconsin jobs."

When Walker stopped at Piper, workers took a break to listen to the governor explain his plans for the state.

"We're actually talking to real people at real companies who are the real middle class," said Walker.

He defends his budget repair bill, saying even though cuts have to be made, more people will benefit in the future.

"Without these changes, without these reforms, many of these local governments would be facing massive layoffs or massive property tax increases," said Walker.

In response to local leaders who've gone ahead and struck deals with their unions, Walker said taxpayers will be picking up the slack when city budgets don't balance out.

"They're ultimately guaranteeing that there's going to be layoffs in those communities which is exactly what we're trying to avoid and which we've given them the tools to avoid," said Walker. "If they choose not to use those tools, the layoffs are going to be their responsibility, not the state's."

But regardless of how the politics play out in Madison, Sweeney said his workers will keep doing what they do best.

"Maybe who you voted for didn't get elected but people here, these employees can come to Piper and make a difference in what they do here on a daily basis," said Sweeney. "They can make a difference."

Walker said if employees at any other company walked away for weeks, their bosses might discipline or fire them, but it'll be up to the voters to decide the fates of the 14 democratic senators who fled the state.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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