MADISON – Tonight Governor Tony Evers delivered his third State of the State Address. This annual speech to the Legislature outlines the most pressing issues facing the state and key priorities for the months ahead. In the interest of safety during the pandemic, this year the address was delivered virtually online.
Representative Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) provided the following statement in reaction to the address:
“Tonight Governor Evers laid out the critical concerns of Wisconsin families as we continue to navigate the interconnected health and economic issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic and offered the solutions and path forward to recovery and growth.
Our state, much like every state in the nation and every country around the world, has been deeply impacted by a virus that has meant changes to nearly every aspect of our lives.
In response, we invested nearly $2 billion to address the state’s needs. This includes over $379 million in funding to support the state’s economy, assisting nearly 53,000 small businesses, more than 15,000 farms, and the Wisconsin tourism, lodging, and hospitality sectors. We distributed more than 26 million pieces of PPE and sanitizing supplies to hospitals, long-term care facilities, veteran’s homes, and frontline workers. Following the best science and medical guidance, we have come a long way relying on testing and tracing, and we are now in the process of ramping up vaccine distribution. Brighter days and a return to normal are on the horizon.
Unfortunately, Governor Evers’ efforts have too often not found helpful partners in Republican legislative leaders, as they have sued to overturn public health protections in court and failed to hold a single vote for months and months throughout the various waves of the virus.
I am hopeful that the modest coronavirus legislation passed today in the Senate can represent a greater spirit of collaboration and compromise. While this bill represents only a fraction of what needs to be done to properly protect the health and well-being of our citizens and small businesses, it is a start, and the Assembly should pass the bill as soon as possible. From there we can get to work on the next steps of our recovery.”