Central Wisconsin lawmakers react to “State of the State” address

By Brennen Scarborough

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Eyes and ears were tuned in to Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday night as the Governor gave the State of the State speech.

Local lawmakers were tuned in as well and had mixed reactions to the speech.

“It seemed like a missed opportunity. It seemed like for a large chunk of the speech he wanted to look backward and rehash some of the political fights of the last 11 years,” Republican District 24 Senator Pat Testin said.

“I feel like it’s appropriate to look at the hardships that people had,” Democratic 71st Assembly District Representative Katrina Shankland added. “Now we look forward and find solutions.”

One of the big talking points from Governor Evers was his plan to invest $200,000,000 dollars into broadband for Wisconsin.

“This is how people access their education, their healthcare, their business, you name it. So it’s really important that people have access to broadband every day,” Rep. Shankland explained.

Senator Testin said he needs to see a proposal before he would support spending an amount of money that large.

“We need to make sure it’s targeted done in a manner where we fund the need, So that way we’re using our resources as wisely as possible,” Sen Testin stated.

Governor Evers also addressed the need for changes to unemployment claims. Stating that with the millions of claims that the badger state saw this year, the process needs to be expedited. Senator Testin says the Governor is partially to blame for the backlog.

“I was really disappointed in the tone that he laid out, basically pointing fingers at the legislature. Saying that this is the reason people had to wait so long, that’s simply not the case,” Sen. Testin explained.

“I strongly support Governor Evers’s call for a special session on unemployment insurance. We need to work together as soon as possible to expedite the process to update the system and make sure it never happens again,” Rep. Shankland added.

Both sides did agree that working together would be crucial in 2021. Especially with how slowly things moved in the Legislature in 2020.

We’re going to keep doing what we can on our end to promote that civil dialogue and civil discourse our country was founded on,” Sen. Testin said.

“To make sure we give everyone whether it’s small businesses, farmers, schools, students, healthcare workers, the resources they need to get through this pandemic and out of the pandemic,” Rep. Shankland agreed.

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