MADISON - Monday at noon Wisconsin's 45th governor will be sworn in. Republican Scott Walker most recently worked as Milwaukee County executive. He campaigned heavily on job creation.
FOX 11 sat down with next governor to get specifics on his plan to grow Wisconsin's economy.
"Did it a generation ago, no doubt we can do it now," said Walker. Governor-elect Scott Walker says in the ;80s then-governor Tommy Thompson's policies helped create 258,000 new jobs.
He says the economic climate was similar to the one the state faces now. Walker has pledged to create 250,000 new jobs.
Walker described those jobs: "Permanent jobs, obviously good paying jobs, family supporting jobs are the sorts of things we want."
In order to do that, Walker says Wisconsin needs to make changes he hopes to achieve in a special legislative session. He wants to lower taxes, especially for small businesses, lower the cost of employment regulations, lower the cost of litigation and eliminate frivolous lawsuits, and make it easier to access affordable health care.
"All of those things plus putting in place a much more aggressive push when it comes to economic development by transforming the state department of commerce into one that's now going to be a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation," said Walker.
Walker says those new jobs will be in about 10 core areas, including printing, water technology, farming and agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.
FOX 11 asked Walker, "Once those new policies are in place, these small business say 'we know how it will be for the next couple of years' - that will lead to the demand for 250,000 new jobs?"
Walker replied with a nod, "If you look at just the patterns in the past with the trends that we're seeing with a slow but steady movement toward a better economy not only in Wisconsin but nationally, we want to be in the forefront of that. We believe the numbers are such that if we hold pace with that we can meet or exceed that goal, we can exceed that if we're aggressive in terms of saying we're going to be ahead of the national recovery for the next four years."
Walker acknowledges some groundwork has been laid. He says he includes in his total the 1,000 jobs Marinette Marine plans to offer in the next few years, and the estimated 5,000 jobs vendors will add because the ship builder was recently awarded a new contract from the Navy.
"In the same way that (...) take blame if something, if a business closes, too much in my term because of policies set by my predecessor you take credit and the blame. I mean again you're talking about a handful out of 250,000. Our point is we want to set a measure from this point forward, here's how many more jobs are created in this state. A few of these things are going to be things that have already started down the path, but many many more are going to be because of the policies we put into place that change the tone of business in this state," said Walker.
Walker says some of the 250,000 new jobs will be government related, but hopes the majority will come through the private sector.
Walker says Tuesday he'll take a good look and assess where each state agency is. He says he'll meet with his cabinet later in that day, and he'll also follow up with legislative leaders regarding a special session and jobs plan.
Some democrats disagree with Walker taking credit for the anticipated job creation at Marinette Marine.
When asked about Walker's jobs plan, Sen. Dave Hansen, D, said, "It's possible but like I said, jobs that we created, Marinette Marine, that could be 5-6,000 - I don't think he created those jobs. In the end it is to me about growing the state and if his plan works - fine. But I'm just saying with the department of commerce and with the legislature and with some of the incentives we've put out there, we've done a pretty good job. We're growing the economy and that's not to say the people out there that are hurting that we don't care - there's room for growth. But can you blow it up just to blow it up and change for change or do you build on what we already have."
"This isn't change for the sake of change," said Representative-elect Andre Jacque, R. "This is much needed change to get us back to a level playing field with other states and hopefully a more competitive playing field where we're actually going to be at the leading edge of business innovation, job expansion."
We talked with Governor Jim Doyle about the new administration. While he declined to give Scott Walker professional advice, he did offer some personal advice..
"I hope that he will really enjoy the office. I'm sure he will," said Doyle. "There are a lot of pressures that come with it. It's sort of an unusual lifestyle. Not many people live in a security bubble all the time. And I hope that he and his family are able to spend some time and relax and enjoy it because there are going to be plenty of tough times in all of this."
Walker says he will try to have a healthy balance between work and