When I met Michael, he was clean cut and clean shaven like you'd expect from a man who used to wear our nation's uniform. There was a period in his life, though, when that wasn't the case—when he was homeless. Today Michael is getting the help he needs at a transitional facility on the Milwaukee VA grounds. I met Michael more than a year ago when I toured the facility, and I saw him again a few months ago at the same place. I was there to announce our "Welcome Home Veterans" effort focused on homeless vets, and Michael was seated in the front row. I told him afterward that the program was part of his legacy, because our first meeting had really mattered. When our conversation ended Michael smiled wide then went over to a gaggle of reporters who sought his opinion on the new initiative as a once-homeless vet himself.
Fri, 11/11/2016Read More
Wisconsin Lt. Governor Kleefisch was at Hudson Middle School last week to meet with 100 girls from grades 6-8 who have an interest in STEM careers. HMS was selected to hold the event to mark October as manufacturing month.
Mon, 10/31/2016Read More
Wed, 06/22/2016Read More
Along with the governors of Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Nebraska, I am headed to Japan for the Midwest US-Japan Association conference. Our Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will be there, too, as we anticipate so many opportunities to sell our state that it will take more than just one salesman. Our team will also land in Taiwan for a couple of days to sell Wisconsin there, too. Our goals are twofold: we want to increase Japanese companies’ awareness of business opportunities in our state and we’re looking to find some potential investors for our high-growth areas of manufacturing, energy, power and controls, bio-science, and food and beverage processing.We announced our trip this past week at Chart Industries in La Crosse, which makes equipment to process natural gas, and Hsu Ginseng in Wausau, which grows and sells ginseng.
Thu, 09/10/2015Read More
Anyone who sits down each month to look at a family checkbook knows one simple fact: budgets are about priorities. That may sound cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As the Good Book says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”What’s true of family and business budgets is also true of government. Since all of us in state government spent the first six months of this year working on our budget for the next two years, now is a good time to ask that same question: what are the priorities?For Gov. Walker and me, our priority is to make sure every day that Wisconsin is open for business. And since we know that small businesses create 60-plus percent of new jobs, that means a special focus on small businesses.
Wed, 09/09/2015Read More
Perhaps you've had this same experience: You're traveling far from home and you spot a Green Bay Packers hat, a Badgers sweatshirt, or an "America's Dairyland" license plate. Seeing that slice of home instantly brings a smile to your face.
Fri, 12/19/2014Read More
Many of you will remember those old words of wisdom from an earlier generation: “God gave you two ears and one mouth — use them in proportion.” That’s good guidance in life, but it’s especially sage advice for politicians, who seem to be the most frequent violators of the rule. Not only is it annoying for voters, but it doesn’t result in the best outcomes for the state, because in reality the best public policy is organic, natural, bottom-up. It isn’t imposed from on high in Madison out on the people, but rather it starts with the people and makes its way back to their representatives in Madison.This past year, at the behest of Gov. Scott Walker, we set out to do things the right way, with more listening than speech-giving. Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler and I hit the road to hear Wisconsinites talk about taxes. We held 23 roundtables spread across every part of the state, with hundreds more people weighing in online.
Mon, 12/15/2014Read More
Today, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler released their “Report to the Governor” at the conclusion of their statewide, year-long tax reform roundtable tour. The pair held 23 roundtables across the state and received feedback via taxreform.wi.gov. The ideas and perspectives they heard are collected in this new report, along with background information on taxation in Wisconsin.
Tue, 12/09/2014Read More
Wisconsin wants to send our products overseas — not our jobs. And as a market for Wisconsin exports, China is like no other. Wisconsin exports contribute to Chinese industrial sectors such as industrial machinery, medical and scientific instruments, and electrical machinery. In addition, we have a major presence in a Chinese market that no other state can compete with — ginseng.
Mon, 12/08/2014Read More
We’ve all heard the old saying: family and business don’t mix. But what may not be as well known is that the saying’s popularity is hardly synonymous with its truth. The reality is that the unique structure of the family business gives it a long-term orientation and core values that traditional public firms often lack.I got my first real post-babysitting job at my family's business: my mom owned a dance studio for ten years. I learned responsibility, patience, punctuality, and people skills. I watched my mom maneuver delicate situations, determine lesson prices and negotiate the cost of rent. I helped her organize the annual recital and sorted and labeled costumes for delivery. I watched her manage our house and her business and never questioned my own ability to one day do the same. It was the gift of a small business owner parent to a child who knows nothing different.
Wed, 11/12/2014Read More