Governor Walker looks back at 2013 - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Governor Walker looks back at 2013

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MADISON (WAOW) - Governor Scott Walker (R), says things started to calm down in 2013, after the recalls and collective bargaining saga of past years. But plenty of other things, like balancing the budget, signing bills, and his own book, still kept him busy this year.

"To think to have gone from $3.6 billion deficit to a $760 million surplus, that gave us the chance to put about a billion dollars into tax relief," said Walker.

But the year started with the governor turning away money. He declined federal money for Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. An estimated 72,000 people in the Wisconsin will be kicked off the state's BadgerCare program.

He also turned down funds for a state run health exchange. Walker says that was the right thing to do.

"The problem is the core of Obamacare itself. And we've said for some time, a better alternative would be a patient centered plan that gave people the choice they deserve here in Wisconsin and across the country," said Walker.

As we move into an election year, Governor Walker admits he couldn't fulfill all of his promises. Those are things he'll have to defend this upcoming campaign season.

Walker acknowledges he didn't create the 250,000 jobs he said he would.

"Really the question will be, do we want to go back to the policies that saw us at double digit tax increases, billion dollar budget deficits and record job loss, or do we want to take our positive reforms and continue to move the state forward," said Walker.

Walker wrote an entire book about those reforms. Just last month, the governor released "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge." His book sparked speculation that a presidential run might be in his future.

"I love being governor and it's one of those things that any decision, even if it's many years from now, would be dependent on not just me and my family but really on the impact it would have on the people of Wisconsin," said Walker.

He says for now he's committed to being governor. But, he says, he never rules out anything, including a run for the presidency.

One thing Walker didn't do this year was make a decision on the Kenosha casino. He said that might come by the middle of next year.

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