Governor Evers Calls for Hope, Bipartisan Unity in Inaugural Address

Governor Tony Evers plans to outline a largely liberal agenda in his second inaugural address Tuesday, while calling for working together on issues that have long divided Republicans and Democrats — including protecting abortion rights, expanding Medicaid, legalizing marijuana and fighting water pollution.

While short on details, his speech serves as a guidepost for the issues he will prioritize during a second term. In February, Evers will release his two-year state budget plan, which will include details about the state’s projected $6.6 billion surplus.

On Tuesday, Evers doesn’t plan to mention the surplus specifically — instead he’ll highlight key priorities such as cutting taxes for the middle class and not just wealthy residents. Evers opposes a Republican plan to move toward a flat income tax rate, which would lower taxes more dramatically for those at the highest tax rate.

Evers is also calling for “generational, transformative improvements as to how we invest in our local communities and keep them safe.” He has called for increased funding to local governments, while Republican legislative leaders are discussing a plan that would give counties, cities, towns and villages a portion of the state sales tax revenue.

In addition to Evers, others being sworn in Tuesday included Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez; Attorney General Josh Kaul; Secretary of State Doug La Follette; state Treasurer John Leiber; 17 members of the state Senate and all 99 members of the Assembly.