FILE - Wisconsin State Capitol

The dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin.

(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol found very little to like about Gov. Tony Evers’ State of the State speech. 

Sen. Van Wangaarrd, R-Racine, took the governor to task for his Tuesday night speech in which he looked back on 2020 and focused on the coronavirus, rather than laying out a blueprint for Wisconsin going forward. 

“In my three terms in the State Senate, I have never seen a more backwards-looking, depressing and divisive State of the State address,” Wangaarrd said. “Instead of looking towards the future, it focused on the past and negative. It was void of new ideas and full of blame. Where is the passion? Where is the hope? This was just ‘blah blah blah’.”

Wangaard was not alone. 

Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, said the governor failed to deliver a plan.

“People tuned into [the] state of the state address to hear a plan – a plan to get kids back in schools, a plan for a vaccine rollout, and a plan on how to fix an unemployment system that has failed Wisconsinites for the last nine months,” Testin said. “Gov. Evers didn’t deliver. Gov. Evers has no plan, no vision, and no accountability.”

Rep . Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, who will help write the new state budget, took umbrage at Gov. Evers claiming credit for Wisconsin’s strong fiscal position in the face of the coronavirus. 

“Governor Evers would like the people of Wisconsin to credit him with the last state budget and at the same time he hopes they forget the constant missteps by his administration during a time so difficult for many,” Born said. “It was Legislative Republicans who stepped up and introduced a budget that protected taxpayers while also funding top priorities. We cut taxes for middle-class Wisconsin families and increased funding for education by over half a billion dollars. Republicans pushed for an increase in funding for hospitals and our direct care workforce all while ensuring we could save money for a rainy day.”

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said the governor’s State of the State was frustrating. 

“It’s almost like our teacher-turned-governor is trying to rewrite the history books while class is still in session,” Steineke said. “We heard absolutely nothing about how Governor Evers abdicated all responsibility when tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers were begging for help in receiving their unemployment aid. Where was the leadership?”