This Skyward Victory is Ours
Written by Representative Katrina Shankland
As a new legislator, one of the questions I get asked the most is if my experience working in the Wisconsin State Legislature is different than what I expected. Considering the warnings I received before taking office – “You’re not going to get anything done, it’s too hard down there” – I would say it’s very different.
It’s different because teamwork can and will happen if you make it. Our success in keeping Wisconsin open to Skyward is testament to that. It’s the result of countless hours of work between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature, local elected officials, the King family and Skyward employees, school districts, the Portage County Business Council, and the people of Central Wisconsin who made sure their voices were heard.
This issue first came across my desk not even a month into taking office. I immediately sprang into action and introduced a bill to save Skyward. I was fortunate to work with legislators from Central Wisconsin, many of whom have been working on this issue for years, including Senator Julie Lassa, Representative Amy Sue Vruwink, Representative Scott Krug, and former Representative Louis Molepske, Jr.
The Joint Finance Committee’s 14-2 vote on the multivendor budget motion proved that we succeeded in building a truly impressive coalition. Together, we rallied the legislature and won support from legislators from both parties.
Hundreds of people from across Central Wisconsin made phone calls, e-mails, and personal visits to legislators from around the state to make this happen. A delegation of fifty Skyward employees and supporters visited the Capitol, and it was my honor to introduce them on the Assembly floor – a real highlight of the session. Hundreds of people attended the press conference led by local leaders to call for action. Yard signs donated by Spectra Print were planted proudly all over Central Wisconsin, underscoring how united our community is in this effort. It was all of us. We did it.
I was thrilled to celebrate with the hundreds of Skyward employees and supporters who attended Skyward’s celebration event this Wednesday. We celebrated the passage of a multivendor system that saves taxpayer money and gives local control to school districts. And most of all, we celebrated keeping this homegrown business and hundreds of family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin. I look forward to continuing my strong support of Skyward as they expand their headquarters and create hundreds of new jobs in Central Wisconsin.
It is so fulfilling to be a representative of the people in serving the 71st Assembly District. This hard-fought victory is a result of the kind of teamwork that reflects the best of the legislature’s capabilities. It serves as a shining example of the good state leaders can do when we listen to the people and honor their voices.
Representative Shankland is honored to serve the 71st Assembly District in Portage County.