Community Town Hall Over Lame-Duck Session
By Maria Szatkowski, WSAW
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) --- Democratic Rep. Katrina Shankland of the 71st Assembly District hosted a community town hall Thursday to discuss the lame-duck legislation passed last week, limiting the powers of the incoming governor and attorney general.
It's still unknown whether Governor Scott Walker has received the legislation. As of Tuesday, the bills had not reached his desk. Walker said whether he signs the bills or vetoes them, Gov. Elect Tony Evers will still have plenty of power.
Students and community members came out to UW-Stevens Point Wednesday to learn about the lame-duck session in Madison. They asked questions and shared their concerns with Shankland, as she explained what it all means for our community and state.
"Often times, things are happening so quickly we can't even keep up with it. So tonight was a great opportunity to hear Representative Shankland and to really delve a little deeper into what happened in Madison last week," said Michele Bjella, a Stevens Point area resident that attended the town hall. "To see how I as a citizen can stay informed and involved, because I don't think that our state was made better by these types of changes in the law."
"I wanted to discuss what passed in the bills last week and what people can do about it now. It was a very informative session with people asking a lot of questions," said Shankland.
While those who attended shared their concerns, they also learned about how the legislation affects the area.
"People feel like they went to the polls for a reason and they feel disrespected by the politicians who passed these bills, and they want to know more about what they can do and what happens next," said Shankland.
Shankland said she reached out to Republican Sen. Patrick Testin to try and make the town hall bipartisan, but he was not able to attend.
"I wanted to make sure people had the opportunity to hear from both of us about the basis of our votes," said Shankland.
She said open forums like this one are still important, as Wisconsin faces new legislators and an unsure government in just a few weeks.
"I wanted to make sure people knew they're still in the drivers 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," said Shankland.
Shankland said she will be having one more office hour session before the end of the year, or she can be reached by phone or email if anyone has any questions or concerns.