MADISON, WI (Spectrum News 1) -- Governor Tony Evers claims he wants to get away from the political divide in Wisconsin by putting people before politics.
“This is bigger than me; this is about the people of Wisconsin,” said Evers. “It’s about setting aside political interests and personal ambitions to work together on solving problems. It’s about putting people first.”
Some Democrats saw that as the governor issuing a challenge.
“If we're going to put the people first, which is what the people want, if we're going to solve our problems it's going to require people to follow Tony Evers' lead on this and come together with a commitment to work on those things,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) who is the Assembly Minority Leader.
But putting the people first could be tougher this legislative session since those same people elected a divided government with Republicans holding control in both the Senate and Assembly.
“I think if I listened to all of the folks who were sworn-in today, they all have a desire to work together, but the desire to work together means you have to be willing to give to get," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). "That's politics in general, so we'll see where they are willing to give because what I heard was a whole lot of 'we won the election, we have a mandate, we're going to do things that people want us to do'... so did [Republicans] we."
Even though both parties have different ideas about what is in the best interest of the people, the Senate president knows the people want both parties to work together.
“I fully embrace that,” said Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton). "I think that's something we as legislators feel, and this really is just a good starting point here I think for the state to come together and see what areas of commonality we have as we begin this upcoming budget cycle.”
That could be the fresh start and chance to move on from past political battles, like the recent extraordinary lame-duck session, some Democrats are looking for.
“I thought it was appropriate,” said Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Mason). “I thought that it was in keeping with his [Evers'] campaign and I think it sets off this next session in a good way because then people won't be surprised.”