Stevens Point Journal: Ready to Roll; Shankland embracing new schedule as State Representative
Written by Nathan Vine, Stevens Point Journal Media
While Katrina Shankland admits she’s still getting used to her new schedule, on Monday she said she’s thrilled with the opportunity to serve as the new state representative for the 71st Assembly District.
After spending last week in Madison where she was officially sworn in, Shankland returned to Portage County on Monday to take part in a number of activities. She was sworn-in in a local ceremony in Branch 2 of the Portage County Courthouse by Judge John Finn, and held her first office hours in the district later at the Portage County Public Library.
“It’s been very hectic so far, but today was a very exciting day,” said Shankland, D-Stevens Point. “I felt like there was a lot of enthusiasm from the people I met about me going to work for them in Madison, and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Shankland has already started work, attending training sessions and voting to cut down on overnight sessions.
“It got the session off to a light-hearted start,” Shankland said. “I think it’s a good idea because these bills should be passed in the light of day for everyone to see.”
Shankland said she’s looking for an apartment in Madison but wants to spend as much time in her local district as possible. She plans to be in Madison between Tuesday and Thursday while spending the rest of the time in the 71st District.
“I think it would be a good schedule so that I can bookend meetings and office hours,” Shankland said. “I don’t want to lose the connection with my constituents, and that means being here.”
Shankland said she plans to meet with other members of the Legislature and public officials, including shadowing Judge Finn for a day to learn more about the state’s justice system. She and her staff also are working to put together her website, and a podcast and blog
are planned to offer constituents further insight into what she is doing in Madison.
Rob Golla, a Shankland supporter, attended both the ceremony and then a reception later at Kristin’s Riverwalk where he had the chance to speak with Shankland. Golla has supported Shankland since she was a candidate in the Democratic primary in part because of her strong stance on issues such as worker’s rights and her support of the recall of Gov. Scott Walker.
“She’s very dedicated and tenacious,” the Rosholt resident said. “I think there is always a learning curve when you get down to Madison, but I think she is very well suited for the job and is very focused on the issues.”