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MADISON, Wis. - Reactions to Gov. Scott Walker's State of the State speech are breaking down predictably along party lines, with Democrats saying he's distracted from dealing with Wisconsin's problems and Republicans saying he's offering bold leadership.

Walker delivered a 25-minute State of the State speech to a joint meeting of the Legislature on Tuesday.

He is calling for merging state agencies, passing a school accountability bill and ensuring that Common Core academic standards are not mandatory.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Walker is offering a bold vision for the state and he looks forward to working with him.

"His priorities are in line with the Assembly Republican Forward Agenda and these priorities are right for Wisconsin," Vos said in a statement.

But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said Walker is becoming distracted by Washington politics and he needs to focus on problems facing middle class Wisconsin families.

"With a $2.2 billion budget deficit, a lagging economy and stagnant wages, it's time to start putting Wisconsin families first," Shilling said in a statement. "As we seek to expand opportunities and build a brighter future, Democrats are committed to addressing the student loan debt crisis, preventing the outsourcing of jobs, and lowering the costs of health insurance and child care."

Shilling said she hopes to find bipartisan support to increase economic freedom and to grow the middle class.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




Democrats slam Walker speech, while Republicans praise it

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