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Gov. Evers calls special session on Wisconsin’s farm crisis

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers used his State of the State address to announce a special session of the Legislature to address the state's farm crisis.

He said Wednesday it is part of a three-prong attack to tackle the problem that's seen a record number of bankruptcies and farmer suicides.

The Democratic Evers also said he was signing executive orders to create panels to tackle student loan debt and a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw what he said would be "fair, impartial maps for the Legislature to take up next year." Evers called on both Republicans and Democrats to work together to tackle the state's problems.

The governor and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes are touring the state tomorrow to discuss specifics of their farm initiatives.

Mobile viewers can watch the speech here

MORE: Read: Governor Evers State of the State Address

MORE: Reaction to the State of the State speech

Below are excerpts from Gov. Tony Evers' 2020 State of the State Address provided by the governor's office. Gov. Evers will give his address at 7:00 P.M. in the Assembly Chambers of the Wisconsin State Capitol:

… As I reflect on my first year in office, although there were setbacks and occasional political posturing—what I call ‘huffing and puffing’—we also had a lot of success, and I am proud of everything we accomplished in just a year’s time.

One of the best parts of my job is getting out of the Capitol and visiting with people all across our state. And holy mackerel, that’s what we did. Lieutenant Governor Barnes and I both visited all 72 Wisconsin counties this past year.

I was also proud to sign executive orders affirming equity, inclusion, respect, and dignity for state workers in Wisconsin. Last year, I visited every single one of our agencies to thank our employees and hear about the good work they’re doing for our state.

This past year, I also made good on my campaign promise to reinstate the pardon review board. We granted the first pardons in our state in nine years, offering forgiveness and a second chance to folks who’ve made amends in their lives and communities.

In my last State of the State Address, I asked the legislature to set politics aside so we could work together on the issues facing our state. I said I expected bills to be passed with broad support and in the spirit of bipartisanship. So one of the things I’m most proud of is that more than 95 percent of the bills I signed my first year in office had bipartisan support.

We have to work on making higher education available to more folks in our state. We have to understand how education-related debt affects not just our students, but their families, too. And we have to address the fact that student debt is preventing folks from buying a car, starting a business, saving for retirement, and starting a family.

From nonpartisan redistricting and investing in our rural communities, to addressing youth vaping and capping the cost of insulin, to closing the dark store loophole and getting PFAS out of our water, we’ve got work to do. There’s no rest for the elected, folks, and we’ve got a lot to get done before anyone takes a vacation.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers will urge the Republican-controlled Legislature in his State of the State speech to keep working on a host of issues, including many with bipartisan support, before they adjourn for the year and begin to focus on elections in the fall.

Excerpts of his speech released ahead of delivery Wednesday show the Democrat Evers will call for enacting nonpartisan redistricting reform, clamping down on vaping among young people, capping the cost of insulin and getting the chemical pollutant PFAS out of the water.

Evers will also prod lawmakers to do more to make higher education more available to Wisconsin residents.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Tony Evers will deliver his annual State of the State address Wednesday night and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope he'll point out areas where Democrats and Republicans can work together.

"I hope he doesn't choose to make it a partisan exercise where he focuses on things that make political points that never actually help to bridge the divide," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

"I think the governor is going to highlight the opportunities we have," said Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh). "I think he's gonna build off the fact that we're at our best when we get things done.

Evers' speech is set for 7 p.m. at the State Capitol in Madison.

WXOW will live stream the speech at and on our Facebook page with coverage via PBS Wisconsin.

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