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Friday, June 12, 2009

 9:58 PM 

Doyle says he will sign budget that protects middle class


Gov. Jim Doyle turned reflective in his keynote address to the state convention tonight, recalling all that had transpired in the year since he navigated flood-ravaged roadways to the Stevens Point DPW convention in 2008.

"The citizens of Wisconsin have called on us as Democrats to lead," Doyle said of November's results following a dreadful economic collapse. "We are in an extraordinary position."

Doyle told the delegates that revenue collections in April fell by 35 percent over the year before and that unemployment jumped by 5 percentage points in six months.

"Can you imagine what kind of shape we'd be in today" if the '08 elections had gone differently, Doyle posed to the audience.

"All the Republicans seem to be offering is 'no,'" Doyle said. "No, no, no across the board."

Doyle praised the state budget that was on the Assembly floor as he spoke. He said the state would spend less in GPR than the previous budget for the first time in history and said Republican complaints about spending increases reflect their opposition to the federal stimulus funding.

He added that the budget would protect the middle class from tax increases, maintain education and health care, and "actually go out and help businesses."

"I am about to sign a budget that will dramatically increase the tax credits for research and development," Doyle said.

Doyle closed by reflecting on his parents, who helped found the modern Democratic Party in Wisconsin 41 years ago in Green Bay. He said they were educated during the Great Depression and pledged that Wisconsin would maintain its commitment to children during a much less severe economic climate.

"Even when we have to make hard choices, our choice is the future," Doyle said.

Listen to the speech.

-- By Andy Szal

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