Evers’ 2nd inaugural address will acknowledge workforce issues

Gov. Tony Evers plans to outline a largely liberal agenda in his second inaugural address tonight, 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, according to a report from the Associated Press.

In prepared remarks, Evers said his victory in November shows that voters want to make abortions legal, fully fund public schools, conserve natural resources, and expand the state’s Medicaid program known as BadgerCare Plus, which Republican lawmakers have consistently blocked for years. Also, Evers said voters want to attract more workers to the state, particularly in health care; expand job training and apprenticeship programs; fight water pollution from chemicals known as PFAS; legalize marijuana; and invest in public transit and transportation alternatives.

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.