Local lawmakers react to State of the State

By Courtney Terlecki, Multimedia Journalist

MADISON (WAOW) - Local lawmakers are speaking out after Governor Scott Walker gave his 8th State of the State address.

During the address, he touted eight years of accomplishments, including putting more money toward education and rural schools. He also touched on the workforce, low unemployment and a budget surplus. Local lawmakers in attendance were split on whether the State of the State was an accurate representation of how Wisconsin is doing.

"It was an interesting speech, I can tell it's an election year, and I can tell he's running scared," said Representative Katrina Shankland. "I reached out to people and asked them to describe to me the state of the state in their perspective, and I heard from people who were very worried aboutt our natural resources."

However, Republican lawmakers were excited for the State of the State and said there's a lot to look forward to.

"I'm just so excited, I've been here now a little over a year, and the progress the state has made, things that we've done that the governor went over," said Representative Patrick Snyder.

While Walker painted a rosy picture and outlook for Wisconsin, democratic lawmakers took it with a grain of salt and questioned his sincerity with it being a re-election year.

"I do  have to question the motives behind the Governor, you know sitting on the budget committee this all could have been done in the budget, it sure is convenient that an election year, all of these policies are starting to come to the forefront," said Shankland.

Republican lawmakers said the re-election year doesn't matter when it comes to the address and getting stuff done.

"Re-election year or not we still have a job to do as elected representatives for the state of Wisconsin, as the governor himself does," said Representative Scott Krug. "We're here for two year cycles and we've got another year or work we can get done yet. So I'm not worried abou the politics or about the bills we're going to get done, I'm excited to keep Wisconsin moving forward and get this positive stuff done."

Healthcare reform did seem to be a topic that legislators could agree on, especially with a proposal on ensuring insurance access for people with pre-existing conditions.

"There are a few things I think we can all agree on," said Shankland.

Governor Walked talked about several different reforms he would like to get done, he said he's calling a special session to start working on passing various legislation.