Overlooking State Street, the west wing of the Capitol building contains the Assembly chamber where Gov. Evers will deliver Wednesday night's "State of the State" address. (Photo by Pat Kreitlow)
Overlooking State Street, the west wing of the Capitol building contains the Assembly chamber where Gov. Evers will deliver Wednesday night's "State of the State" address. (Photo by Pat Kreitlow)

Governor again chides GOP for legislators’ short session

Most Wisconsinites would not be expected to know the working calendar kept by their state legislators, but Gov. Tony Evers told a statewide audience on Wednesday night that the short session planned by Republican leaders is no excuse to not reach big, bipartisan deals on subjects including student loan debt, corporate tax loopholes and youth vaping.

The governor’s office released seven paragraphs on Wednesday morning of what will be a much longer speech outlining his priorities for 2020, even though the Legislature’s Republican leaders are likely to wrap up the session by March and send members home to campaign until November.

“From nonpartisan redistricting and investing in our rural communities, to addressing youth vaping and capping the cost of insulin, to closing the dark store loophole and getting PFAS out of our water, we’ve got work to do. There’s no rest for the elected, folks, and we’ve got a lot to get done before anyone takes a vacation,” one excerpt reads.

The governor, a former educator, drew praise and raised hackles earlier this month when he gave lawmakers a 2020 to-do list in the form of a “homework assignment.”

“I am hopeful,” the governor wrote, “that the legislature will remain in session as long as is necessary to accomplish these important goals. It would be unfortunate if the legislature were to adjourn without making meaningful progress on the issues Wisconsinites care about.”

Topics on the “homework” list are likely to be repeated in the State of the State and include:

  • Non-partisan redistricting reform to end gerrymandering.
  • Capping the price of insulin.
  • Improving the processing of sexual assault evidence.
  • Closing the “Dark Store” tax loophole for big retailers.
  • The remaining bills in a package designed to improve services to Wisconsin’s homeless population.

UpNorthNews reporter Jessica VanEgeren will be covering the State of the State address at 7:00 p.m.