By Liz Holbrook
STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -- State Representative Katrina Shankland held a town hall on Wednesday night about the lame duck session.
The hour and a half town hall were held on the campus of UWSP as Shankland explained the different bills to dozens of citizens. She says the town hall was spurred by voters, hundreds of whom contact her to say they feel the bills are an abuse of power.
"People feel like this is an abuse of power by power-hungry politicians who are really desperate. And I think it's clear that the only reason these bills passed and the only reason we had a lame-duck session was because Republicans lost statewide races. And they wanted to override the will of the voters who spoke loud and clear this November asking for change."
Shankland also wanted to let discouraged citizens know that voters still decide what happens in Wisconsin's government by being involved. "So I wanted to make sure people knew that they're still in the driver's seat. They still have the ability to weigh in with their legislators, with the governor, and they should keep staying involved because their voice has never been more important."
The lame duck bills still have not made it to out-going Governor Scott Walker's desk. Shankland asks Walker to consider his legacy when thinking of signing the bills. Especially as the session has received negative attention from some of his former colleagues.
"I think it's important to note that you know we didn't just receive statewide attention for these bills. We received national and international attention. And the Governor is hearing from people close to him who are Republicans who have issues with this. There's a reason why Senator Cowles, for example, voted against it. There's a reason why former Republican governors are also opposed to this."
Concerning the bills themselves, Shankland says their a disappointment as they go against the voters wish for change. "Voters weighed in loud and clear on November 6th. They want change. We should give it to them, we shouldn't interfere with that. As politicians, we should never be voting to put ourselves before people. We should never be voting to give ourselves more power. And that's why this is such a disappointment."
Shankland believes the lame duck session should have focused on fixing roads, protecting healthcare and investing in education. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas about the lame duck session, Shankland recommends you contact her at 608-267-9649 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org