Governor Tony Evers addressed a joint session of the legislature this week for the first time. In a relatively short address, Evers continued to highlight some of his pledges from the campaign, like expanding Medicare and withdrawing Wisconsin from the Obamacare lawsuit (something he is not allowed to do). Evers started his speech by highlighting some of the issues he believes Wisconsin needs to address, including:

  • National rankings for raising a black family
  • Spending more on corrections “than on the entire UW System”
  • Behind on broadband expansion
  • Trail the nation on start-ups and small business creation
  • High costs of healthcare

Otherwise, he gave mostly boilerplate platitudes to bipartisanship while calling on the legislature to do what he wants.

Evers highlighted his call on WEDC to create an innovation and entrepreneurship committee focusing on supporting small business, seeding capital funds, and technology development.

Evers said while there are signs of a strong Wisconsin, the numbers can be deceiving. Evers compared and contrasted:

  • There’s more to an economy than counting job creation; it’s about the jobs that pay a livable wage.
  • There’s more to an economy than a fiscal surplus; it’s about the number of students in poverty that go to school hungry.
  • There’s more to an economy than a rainy-day fund; it’s about the quality of the natural resources being cared for.

You can read the full speech here. He will next address the legislature in February when he proposes his budget for the 2019-2021 fiscal years.