While listening to Governor Doyle’s State of the State speech last night I actually found myself applauding (my 16 month old daughter found that amusing) and even felt a bit choked up at times. Most of what was discussed I find to be so important and I am so hopeful that this is not just a bunch of excitable pipe dreams. Below is a list of topics he outlined in his speech (list from AP found on http://http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/13648355.htm ) and my thoughts on each of them:

Creating a new health insurance program for children called BadgerCare Plus. The effort would merge 500,000 individuals currently enrolled in three different programs into one.

As I understood it, he is proposing a healthcare plan where families of all incomes can CHOSE to enroll for their CHILDREN. He claims that he believes no child should ever be without health insurance. I, of course, believe this as well.

Creating a large, low-cost insurance pool for Wisconsin employers designed to address the cost of catastrophic care.

I think this is a wonderful idea. Horrible things happen to people from all walks of life. This will cut insurance costs for employers which will in turn benefit employees and our communities. Lack of jobs, outsourcing, and high premiums can all begin to be addressed by solutions such as this one.

A new financial aid package for college. Wisconsin eighth-graders who sign a pledge agreeing to maintain at least a B average in high school, take certain courses and stay out of trouble would be eligible. If they go to a public Wisconsin school, the state would guarantee them grants, loans and work-study jobs to pay cover the cost of tuition.

Again, I think this is great. Students and parents will all have to be accountable in order to receive these benefits. College has become almost a necessity in this country and it needs to be affordable. And students need to start seeing it as not only a possibility, but as their goal, starting from an early age.

An expansion of Wisconsin’s Family Care program, which provides long-term, community based support for low-income seniors and the disabled. Services range from the meal delivery to help administering medications. Doyle has touted it as a cheaper alternative to putting seniors into nursing homes.

I didn’t even realize how much of a problem this was. I never, thank God, have had to think about this. But one day, it could be likely that I will. Many elderly and disabled are living in outrageously expensive Nursing Homes when less expensive solutions could be made available. They can live more independent lives while still getting the care they need and deserve.

An initiative aimed at helping Wisconsin capture 10 percent of the stem cell research market by 2015. Doyle plans to direct the Department of Commerce to spend $5 million to recruit companies that find practical applications for stem cell research. The initiative includes efforts to promote Wisconsin as a leader in the field.

Here is where I actually applauded in my own living room. I thought "This man has got some balls!" Many faces in that room in Madison did not look pleased, but the ones that did were hooting and hollering!! And I am hooting and hollering right along with them. I believe Doyle’s quote was "Politics will not get in the way of curing diseases." I just wish our federal government was so clear minded.

$6 million to help people with rising heating costs. The effort would give 30,000 Wisconsin families an average of $200 in state heating bill assistance this year.

This is for families who make 40k or less a year. So, while it still leaves me with a high heating bill and no assistance, I applaud this. This can help so many people. And lets face it, they need it more than I do. He also is asking for this to be an emergency action to go into effect asap so that people can be helped right NOW!

$9.5 million in private venture capital for startup businesses in northeastern Wisconsin that has been deemed the "New North."

Great!! New jobs..Who could argue with that??

A tax credit for poor parents working at least 35 hours a week designed to ensure their incomes meet the federal poverty level of $19,350 for a family of four. The credit would cost the state $22 million in revenue in its first year, helping an estimated 9,000 families with 26,000 children.

The most important part of this ‘poor parents working at least 35 hours a week’ !! This is NOT a hand out to baby poppers sitting on their asses day in and day out. This is for hard working parents trying to make a decent life for their families! One of the biggest problems in this community is the fact that children are being raised in hopelessness. This breeds crime. Helping these families will benefit ALL of us and will keep people working because it won’t be more beneficial to collect welfare and state aid. As Doyle said (or something to the effect), ‘There is no state aid better than a good paying job.’

Outlawing the practice of "health care dumping." Doyle said profitable companies such as Wal-Mart should not deliberately manipulate their benefits so that employees qualify for state-funded programs such as BadgerCare.

This is a no-brainer. Shame on them.

He also mentioned starting a 4 year old kindergarten program. This is such a great idea. Not only a four year olds more than ready, getting an earlier start will only encourage their social and learning growth. Also, this will really help working parents who are struggling to pay for the high cost of child care. What a fabulous idea.

If you read my blogs, you know how I feel about gas rates and the abusive oil companies. Doyle is just as pissed as I am and is working hard at taking on these seemingly untouchable corporations.

To this day I refuse to consider myself a democrat or republican. While I lean towards the democrat philosophies because they tend to put people before the mighty dollar, I also agree with my republican friends about ridiculous hand outs to unproductive citizens. I support gay marriage, abortion rights, and other liberal plights. But I also feel that civil liberties are being taken advantage of and ballooned to unnecessary proportions at the expense of the majority. While I still refuse to consider myself a Democrat. I fully support Governor Doyle. His views on education, stem cell research, and healthcare are just a few of the reasons he is clearly doing (or trying to do) what is best for our state and ultimately, our country.


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