Governor talks tech school funding, 2016 prospects

Governor talks tech school funding, 2016 prospects

Gov. Scott Walker toured technical colleges Thursday and answered his first round of post-election questions.

He went to Milwaukee Area Technical College Thursday morning and answered questions from reporters about whether a run in 2016 may be in his future.

“Someday, I don’t know when,” Walker said. “It could be six, it could be 12 years from now. I’m pretty young at 47, but right now my focus is on enacting the things we talked about in the campaign.”

Walker ended his day at Madison College, speaking briefly to students and staff in an engineering lab about his plans to make technical college funding a priority in his next budget. He wouldn’t commit to a certain dollar figure he planned to send to tech schools, but said he would ask colleges to evaluate programs and would only pay for performance.

After his talk, he told reporters he plans to meet with his cabinet and lawmakers over the next few weeks to develop a legislative agenda that will include school accountability and tax reform. He once again addressed a possible 2016 run for another office, saying he doesn’t have a timeline.

“I think there’s a lot of things we could do the first 75 or 100 days that can kind of set the tone for this legislative agenda and the next four years,” Walker said. “I’m not going to let a lot of things cloud my mind in that regard. Other people, other pundits, will talk about that.”

Walker said he told his “friends headed to Washington” the same thing he told Wisconsin lawmakers four years ago, that it was put-up-or-shut-up time and that they’d need to make bold reforms after getting a mandate from voters this election.

The governor also indicated he may make some changes to his cabinet. He asked members in a meeting Wednesday to decide in the next two weeks if they wanted another term. Walker said he’d make decisions about staff in the final two months of the year, saying “if you want a team to go to the Super Bowl, even winning teams need a few tweaks.”