Evers delivers State of the State address, gives preview of upcoming budget

By Rose McBride, WJFW

MADISON - "It begins, as it always has for me, with education," said Governor Tony Evers. 

As the former superintendent of Wisconsin schools, Gov. Evers placed a big emphasis on education in his State of the State address.

As he did in his inauguration address, Gov. Evers said the children of Wisconsin are the ones who will eventually run the state.

Gov. Evers wants to return to two-thirds funding, meaning the state will fund two thirds of a child's education. It's something that received support from both sides.

"I was pleased to learn that the Speaker has encouraged his members to support this provision in our budget, and I hope that I can count on your support going forward," said Gov. Evers.

In addition to general education funding, Evers spoke about increasing support for students with special needs, students from low-income areas, and minorities.

"Tony Evers has always led on funding our public schools and equity, giving every kid the opportunity to get ahead and that's what I think he's doing in his budget," said Representative Katrina Shankland, (D) Stevens Point. 

One thing got positive attention from everyone in the Assembly Chambers: Evers pledged to cut taxes for the middle class.

"I think he should hold true to that commitment and if he does that, we're going to see a growing economy and we're going to have more money to spend on priorities like education, mental health, those things Governor Evers talked about," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R) Minocqua. 

Evers's address varied from the past eight that Governor Walker gave, but the GOP thought one important topic was missing: the strong economy.

"The state of Wisconsin is strong. Unemployment still remains at an all-time low for the past 11 months. That wasn't really touched on tonight," said Rep. Rob Swearingen, (R) Rhinelander. 

"Wisconsin is in very good shape and the number one thing that Governor Evers can do at this point is just make sure to don't screw it up," said Sen. Tiffany. 

Governor Evers said he expects the legislature to take up the budget he proposes, instead of making a new one.

Sen. Tiffany said if this speech is indicative of the budget coming in the next month, the GOP controlled legislative will be reworking his budget.