By Karen Stokes
Gov. Tony Evers was sworn in for his second term as Governor of Wisconsin on Tuesday Jan. 3 during Wisconsin’s 2023 Inauguration Ceremony.
“I’m Tony Evers, and, yes, I am jazzed as hell today to be sworn in again as the 46th governor of the great state of Wisconsin.”
Evers addressed the public and outlined his agenda calling for overturning the outdated 1849 state abortion law, expanding Medicaid coverage, legalizing marijuana and further funding K-12 schools, among other priorities.
“Our state and our country’s histories are punctuated by moments just like this one — moments where we have the chance to do the right thing — not for ourselves, but for each other,” Evers said in the rotunda of the state Capitol.
Evers said bringing back those rights would also help the state economy.
“If we want to make sure we can compete for talented workers and businesses against other states, then we ought to start by making sure that when workers and businesses look to relocate to Wisconsin,” he said. “Part of that calculus doesn’t include themselves, their loved ones, or their workers being stripped of their reproductive freedom just for moving here.”
This inauguration had a personal touch. Evers’ granddaughter, Tessa Schoenecker, a college student, introduced her grandfather before he was sworn in.
“I’m so hopeful for the future of our state and so excited for the possibilities of what we could achieve together. Over the next four years, I know that we can create a better Wisconsin for women, workers, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, and I’m so happy that my grandfather will be there with us,” Schoenecker said.
“Given the opportunity to retreat into division and doubt, Wisconsin chose a future of unity and faith,” Evers said. “Given the opportunity to further enable cynicism and hate, Wisconsinites chose kindness, and they chose hope instead.”
Evers will deliver his State of the State address on Jan. 24. In February, he will release his two-year state budget plan, which will include his plan for the state’s projected $6.6 billion surplus.
Other officers sworn in on Tuesday were Sara Rodriguez sworn in as Lieutenant Governor, replacing former Lt. Gov Mandela Barnes, Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, first elected in 2018, Democratic Secretary of State, Doug LaFollette, first elected in 1974 and Republican John Leiber, Wisconsin’s new state treasurer.