Evers Delivers First State of the State

Gov. Tony Evers delivers his first State of the State address, outlining his policy priorities. Hear excerpts from the speech here:

Author: Will Kenneally

I’m Tony Evers, and I’m incredibly honored to be here tonight as the 46th governor of the great state of Wisconsin to say the state of our state is that we’ve got work to do, and we’re ready for bipartisan solutions.

Gov. Tony Evers called for bipartisan action on a list of policy priorities as he delivered his first State of the State address. The new Democratic governor did not shy away from criticizing Republicans and the legacy of the past eight years under former Gov. Scott Walker.

But there is more to an economy than counting job creation. And the state of our state is more than just our unemployment rate. …

We are a state that was the birthplace of BadgerCare, and we’ve been a laboratory for democracy. But today, we are also a state where it’s become cheaper to get healthcare by driving across the Mississippi River.

Healthcare played a major role in the governor’s speech. He advocated expanding medicaid coverage in Wisconsin and called on the attorney general to remove the state from a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

I have fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for the 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions.

Neither expanding Medicaid nor removing Wisconsin from the ACA lawsuit is expected to receive bipartisan support, which would be necessary for the legislation to pass the Republican-controlled legislature. Evers did receive applause from Republicans on a provision to cut taxes for the middle class.

Finally, we’re going to cut taxes by ten percent for everyone making up to $100,000 and families making up to $150,000.

School funding also received bipartisan welcome.

Our budget reaffirms our state’s commitment to our kids by returning to two-thirds funding for schools across Wisconsin. …

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.

Evers finished with a call to the people:

You know, in the Governor’s conference room inscribed on the ceiling is a phrase that reads, “The will of the people is the law of the land.” …

Now, let’s get back to work. Thank you, and On, Wisconsin!