Wisconsin’s new governor calls for a return to “Wisconsin values.” Tony Evers identified those values as kindness and respect, and said the state faces myriad problems and needs – including paying for education, infrastructure, and health care. “We cannot fix these problems unless people come before politics,” Evers said in remarks delivered after being sworn into office on Monday.
“We’ve become paralyzed by polarity and we’ve become content with decision. We’ve become indifferent to resentment, and governing by retribution. We’ve gotten away from who we are, and the values that make Wisconsin. Not Republican or Democratic values, but our Wisconsin values.”
The Democrat, who defeated Scott Walker in November, said young people are looking for leadership. “They’re also looking to us to take gun violence and climate change seriously,” Evers said. Joining Evers at the inauguration, Mandela Barnes, the first African-American lieutenant governor of the state, Attorney General Josh Kaul and other constitutional officers.
The Senate and Assembly, including new members in both chambers, were also sworn into office Monday, and legislative called for bipartisanship. “Last session, I began the year by reminding this body, not only are all of us are in this together, but how much more we can achieve with the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
“We know what leadership looks like, and now we need to practice it, with civility, respect, character, ethics and patience,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).