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The Latest: Republicans receptive to child payment

January 24, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Scott Walker’s State of the State speech (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Republican legislative leaders are embracing Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to give families a $100 payment for every child living at home under age 18.

Walker unveiled the idea in his State of the State speech Wednesday.

Both Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos say they like the proposal that would cost about $122 million a year. Fitzgerald says the idea was well received by Republican senators when Walker outlined it to them earlier Wednesday.

Vos says he’s “very confident” the proposal can pass this year.

If it does, Walker wants the payments to arrive in the fall, just before his re-election bid. After that they would be offered as a refundable income tax credit.

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4:01 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is surrounding himself with parents and children to tout his newly proposed child tax credit.

Walker unveiled the plan during his State of the State speech Wednesday. He invited parents and children to surround him at the podium in the Assembly as he detailed the plan.

Under his proposal, families would get $100 cash payments this year for every child living at home under age 18. Walker wants the money to arrive before the start of the school year, just before he’s on the ballot for re-election in November.

Democratic Rep. David Crowley is accusing Walker of trying to buy an election win with the $122 million rebate.

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3:35 p.m.

Democrats say Gov. Scott Walker is frantically trying to improve his approval ratings with proposals like a new child rebate that would send families $100 in cash for every kid under age 18.

Walker unveiled that proposal Wednesday in his State of the State speech.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling says “Wisconsin residents will not be fooled.”

She says Walker has failed to deliver on his past promises and has misguided priorities. She and Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz say Walker has failed to address the state’s crumbling roads and not done enough to grow the middle class.

But Walker is touting projects like the Foxconn Technology Group’s plans to invest $10 billion on a massive manufacturing facility are signs the state’s economy is strong and growing.

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3:15 p.m.

Three Democrats running for governor are in the audience listening to Gov. Scott Walker deliver his eighth State of the State speech.

One of them, state Rep. Dana Wachs, was among the honorary contingent sent to Walker’s office to escort him to the Assembly chamber on Wednesday. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who is also running, was in the audience.

Walker shook hands with another Democratic challenger, state schools Superintendent Tony Evers. He and other state officials, including members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, traditionally attend the annual speech.

Walker is up for re-election in November. Evers, Wachs and Vinehout are among more than a dozen Democrats running for a chance to take him on.

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3 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is calling on Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to join together to quickly pass his priorities for this year, including a $100-per child cash payment to families.

Walker detailed his priorities Wednesday in his eighth State of the State speech. This one comes as Walker is running for re-election to a third term.

Walker announced plans for a $100 per-child rebate that would be paid to households in cash this fall, close to the November election. Walker is challenging the Legislature to pass it so parents will have the money before the fall start of the next school year.

He’s also calling for the Legislature to approve measures designed to stabilize the private health care market and force parents on food stamps to work to get benefits.

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1:55 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a $100 per-child credit for every family in Wisconsin that would be paid just before he’s on the ballot for re-election.

Walker planned to announce the plan Wednesday in his State of the State speech.

The money would be paid out this year to all families with children under the age of 18. Walker’s office says there are 1.2 million qualifying children in the state in 671,000 households.

If approved by the Legislature, families would receive notice from the state that they may be eligible. They would then apply for the cash payment on the Department of Revenue’s website.

Starting next year, the money would come as a refundable tax credit on income tax returns.

Total cost would be about $122 million a year, which Walker would fund this year from the budget surplus.

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11:40 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker plans to tout 2017 as an “amazing” and “historic” year in his annual State of the State speech.

Walker says in excerpts released Wednesday that record-low unemployment, elimination of the state property tax and the Foxconn Technology Group project all have contributed to the successful year.

He says, “We are getting things done for the people of Wisconsin.”

Democrats have assailed the Foxconn project because it could cost state and local taxpayers $4.5 billion in tax incentives. They’ve also criticized Walker for not doing enough to fix other state problems, including crumbling roads and the state’s troubled juvenile prisons.

Walker plans to tout increases in K-12 school funding and further work requirements he’s proposing for welfare recipients. He’s also seeking to guarantee health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

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10:15 a.m.

Democrats say Gov. Scott Walker will attempt to cover up his failures in his State of the State speech by embracing their ideas that have been ignored for years.

Walker is slated to deliver his speech Wednesday. He said in tweets previewing the speech that he’ll tout the state’s record-low unemployment, elimination of the state portion of the property tax and his call to require insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says Walker won’t talk about his failure to enact a long-term solution to fix the state’s roads or past cuts to K-12 education.

Hintz says Walker is embracing issues championed by Democrats for years because he’s facing re-election in November.

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7:14 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker will use his State of the State speech to outline an election-year set of priorities built on some long-held Democratic priorities while appealing to conservatives with further toughening of state welfare program requirements.

Walker’s eighth State of the State Wednesday comes as the state’s unemployment level is tied for record low and as more than a dozen Democrats see a chance to knock off the two-term Republican incumbent in November.

Walker has previewed the themes he plans to cover in the weeks leading up to the speech. They include further overhauling the state’s welfare system, bolstering the private insurance market to lower rates, overhauling the state’s juvenile prison system, investing more in rural schools and in rural economic development.

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