‘UpFront’: Lawmakers praise bipartisan cooperation on youth corrections overhaul

Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, called the Assembly’s unanimous passage of the youth corrections overhaul “a really strong political moment for the state of Wisconsin.”

Goyke, a co-author of the bill, appeared with Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Schraa said lawmakers “put aside their political differences” to work together on the bill, which would close the troubled Lincoln Hills school for youth by 2021, and move young offenders to smaller, regional facilities better tailored to their needs.

“The fact that this was a bill that could have been very partisan, very controversial, I think we just decided to put our egos aside, all work together. The best outcomes were the most important things to us,” Schraa said.

Goyke pointed out that the entire Assembly Corrections Committee offered the bill, a process he said is rarely used.

“For me, as a minority party member, it was really great to work so hard for so long on a bill, and then really see that idea move forward with bipartisan support,” Goyke said.

The corrections bill is now in the Senate, and Schraa said it could pass unanimously in that chamber, too.

Also on the program, Democratic candidate for governor Andy Gronik called the Foxconn deal an “anchor around the necks of every Wisconsinite.”

Gronik, a Milwaukee businessman, said the cost of the deal has grown to more than $4 billion for “a company that frankly, we never took the time as a state, (Gov. Walker) never did an independent feasibility analysis, to even determine if the kinds of things Foxconn says they can do, they can actually do.”

Gronik said if he is elected “I will work hard to make this deal less bad.”

He also said his “GroWis” jobs plan would capture Wisconsin’s strengths in science, technology, manufacturing and agriculture to make the state a leader “in the things that support life – food, water, air, energy.”

Gronik is competing with many other Democrats seeking the right to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November.

Asked about the status of his campaign, Gronik said he entered the race with no name recognition and now has a social media following of more than 26,000 between Facebook and Twitter.

“We now have the largest social media following in the entire field. We’re dwarfing the competition,” he said, adding that his followers are getting “real conversation” on an optimistic vision for jobs, education and health care.

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