State lawmakers voice expectations, hopes for State of the State

Democratic and Republican lawmakers share priorities for State of the State speech and new legislative session.
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Ahead of Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State speech Tuesday evening, NBC15 reached out to state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to find out what they hoped to hear from the governor.

State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) said he wants to hear the governor prioritize issues like rural roads, schools and broadbands - all issues important to Marklein’s constituents. He also hopes the governor encourages cooperation.

“It isn’t always what you hear, it’s how you hear it, and I’m hoping there’s a conciliatory tone,” Marklein said.

Heading into the new year, Marklein said he wants to continue working on issues like rural broadband. As chair of the Joint Finance Committee, he is hoping to include those issues in the new budget.

State Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) said she wants to see more COVID-19 relief and hopes the governor talks about drawing new congressional maps during redistricting in 2021. Nearly a year ago, Governor Evers created a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

“Fair maps are the right way to move forward. That is the best way to make sure that the will of the people is the law of the land here in the state of Wisconsin,” Agard said.

Agard added she wants to focus on the economy, expanding health care and cannabis legalization in 2021.

In a written statement to NBC15, State Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) said she hopes to hear Governor Evers commit to equity and inclusion in his speech.

“Wisconsin is still the worst place to raise a Black family, and that is unacceptable. We need to fight these racial inequities, to make Wisconsin a better place for everyone,” Stubbs wrote.

Both state senators celebrated bipartisan efforts to pass COVID-19 legislation in the State Senate Tuesday. Marklein said he wants to see more cooperation going forward, and Agard added there is much more work to be done.

Stubbs said while it is not the bill Assembly Democrats hoped for, she expects the amended legislation to pass the State Assembly.

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