MADISON – Following Gov. Evers’s State of the State address this evening, State Representative Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) released the following statement:
“Governor Evers’s State of the State address highlighted the urgent issues that Wisconsin must address in the upcoming state budget. I am pleased that the Governor focused on crucial issues such as the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding access to rural broadband, fixing Wisconsin’s unemployment system, and ensuring fair maps in Wisconsin.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of our state, and I have heard directly from constituents about the need for COVID-19 relief. I was glad to see that the Wisconsin State Senate passed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill today. The Assembly must now meet to pass this bill.
“I am pleased that Governor Evers announced that the expansion of rural broadband access is a strong priority for the next state budget, and that the 2021-23 state budget will invest nearly $200 million over the biennium. The current COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the importance of broadband access in our district and our state — throughout the pandemic, I have heard directly from constituents who are unable to telecommute or teleschool easily due to challenges with connectivity. This is a crucial, much-needed investment in our rural communities.
“I am committed to working to fix Wisconsin’s broken unemployment system. Throughout the past year, much of my time and my staff’s time has been spent assisting constituents with their unemployment claims. We must make common-sense changes to state law surrounding the unemployment system to prevent backlogs, and to make the process less complex and confusing. Today, the Governor announced that he will be calling a special session of the legislature to modernize our unemployment system.
“Finally, I applaud Governor Evers for making fair maps a priority. For too long, Republicans in our state have refused to consider nonpartisan redistricting proposals, despite their overwhelming support among the people of our state. I firmly support the Governor’s commitment to ensuring that our maps in Wisconsin are fair and impartial, and encourage my Republican colleagues to come to the table instead of again drawing maps behind closed doors.
“As we begin the new legislative session and the new year, there is much work to do to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to support our economy and our state. I look forward to working with Governor Evers and my colleagues in the legislature on these critical issues.”