Gov. Evers focuses on pandemic, fixing unemployment system during SOS

(Wisconsin Radio Network) Governor Tony Evers laid out his roadmap for 2021 at Tuesday night’s State of the State Address.

Evers took little time in laying out tall goals for 2021. Evers says he’ll be calling for a special session of the Legislature to overhaul and rebuild the state’s unemployment system.

“We know that replacing the system will take years. That’s why it should have been done sooner. But it’s also why we don’t have another moment to waste.”

Republicans have been decrying the backlog of unemployment claims that were generated by outdated systems and processes at D W D, and Evers wants them to get together and fix the issue.

Evers says that the massive push for increased internet access showed the vast digital divide across parts of Wisconsin, and that he’ll be stepping up the funding for broadband expansion to $200 million in his next budget.

“This pandemic has shown us first-hand that lack of access to high-speed internet continues to be a setback for kids, families, and businesses across our state.”

Governor Evers says that a fair and open redistricting process will be vital to the state in 2021. Evers says that the last time maps were drawn in the state, Republicans did so in secret with the help of attorneys, and that no one got to provide any input. 

“I’m announcing that my biennial budget is going to make sure that the legislature draws our maps in the light of day, in the public eye, and with public input by requiring public meetings for map drawing process.”

Many of the records for those strategy sessions were never released, and Evers says he doesn’t want to see a repeat of that process. “Because the people of our state deserve to know how these maps are drawn and by whom.”

Evers thanked the people of Wisconsin for their strength and perseverance through the pandemic and what was a tough year, and alled for continued unity among the people of the state.