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Rep. Brett Davis: Bipartisanship needed to weather economic storm
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Every January, the governor addresses the Legislature and the citizens of Wisconsin to outline his agenda for the next year. It's an opportunity to take a look at the big picture of how we're doing and lay out a vision for what's to come.

The message this year is very clear. While we are doing well as a state, leading the nation in many areas, the slowdown in our national economy will likely start to have an impact in the weeks and months ahead. That said, the Legislature must work hard in a bipartisan fashion on policies that will promote economic development, retain and create jobs in our communities, and lower health care costs.

I share the governor's concern over our state's economy and was encouraged by his commitment to work with the Legislature toward a prosperous year for Wisconsin. In his speech, Governor Doyle pushed several economic development ideas that are working their way through the Assembly, including:

• Providing incentives for next generation agriculture and manufacturing for cheese makers, meat producers and others.

• Expanding the state's Angel Investment Tax Credit to encourage and facilitate investment in new businesses in Wisconsin.

• Promoting capital gains re-investment through tax incentives.

• Encouraging research and development in emerging industries like NanoTechnology.

The focus on health care in the State of the State address was especially encouraging. The ever-increasing cost of health care is a burden on the budgets of business and families alike and is hampering our economy. It is my hope that the Legislature will use the remaining months of session to focus on effective approaches to reducing the cost of health care in Wisconsin. There are many innovative bills working their way through the legislative process that offer practical health care solutions like increasing disclosure of the real cost of health care, encouraging workplace wellness programs that help to prevent chronic diseases, and increasing the use of technology to bring down costs.

The time for speeches is behind us and now it's time to get to work. Families and businesses across Wisconsin need partisan politics to be set aside in exchange for action and change. The economy is shaky and we need Democrats and Republicans to work together to keep our state moving forward.

I want to hear from you, so please feel welcome to express your thoughts or let me know if I can be helpful to you in any way by calling (888) 534-0080, e-mailing me at or by writing or stopping by 308 North, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53708.

It is an honor serving the residents of the 80th District in the State Assembly!

- Wisconsin State Rep. Brett Davis, R-Oregon, serves the 80th Assembly District, which includes all of Green County and portions of Rock, Dane and Lafayette counties.