The Wisconsin State Assembly passed bills with bipartisan support today, including one aimed at workforce development.
The workforce training bill would actually speed up a proposal in Governor Scott Walker's budget to spend $15 million on workforce training grants, which can be awarded to either private or public institutions.
Chippewa Falls Republican Kathy Bernier says this could help a variety of workers: "We are proposing to educate — train — new unemployed and underemployed Wisconsinites."
Racine Democrat Cory Mason criticized the way the money was being spent, especially following budget cuts to technical colleges. Mason says they could do this training better: "We have a Wisconsin Technical College System that has decades of experience — now a century of experience — behind them in doing vocational training."
Still, Mason supported the bill which passed on a 94-4 vote.
The Assembly also passed two bills by similar margins that were authored last session by Democrats. Both would spend state money to promote Wisconsin-based manufacturers with a focus on smaller operations.