NewsLocal NewsIn Your Neighborhood


Gavel in and Out: Governor Evers Special Session lasts less than sixty seconds

Wednesday afternoon, Democratic legislators talked with community advocates about the childcare issues and what they plan to do.
Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-21 19:35:04-04
  • Special Session called by Gov. Evers to discuss state's workforce challenges adjourned less than one minute after starting
  • One of the issues was stabilizing state's childcare
  • Childcare advocates showed up to voice their concerns
  • State Lawmakers on both sides discuss their thoughts on what should be done

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

The Special Session called by Governor Tony Evers was supposed to cover many of the state’s workforce challenges, but it adjourned less than one minute after starting, which isn't the first time a special session ended quickly.

I’m Katlyn Holt in Madison, one of those issues was stabilizing the state's childcare industry and making the Child Care Counts program permanent.

"I still can't recruit teachers and I still can't compete with the gas station down the road. I can't compete with really anything. We're one of the lowest paid fields," said Skidmore.

Brooke Skidmore is the co-owner to the Growing Tree Child Care Center in the village of New Glarus, South-west of Madison.

She made her way to the Capitol to advocate for childcare and she says without the Child Care Counts program, she doesn't think many groups will be able to survive.

"Without that funding, it’d make no sense for us to stay open because we would be losing money every month," said Skidmore.

I talked to state lawmakers from both political parties and they shared their thoughts on the continuation of the C.C.C. Funding and why they may or may not agree with it.

State representative Kristina Shelton is a democrat who represents Assembly District 90, which covers Green Bay.

"We are sitting on a budget surplus right now at the state level, we have the funding for the government and Wisconsin to take action to support child care and Child Care Counts and that's what I believe we should be doing today," said Shelton.

As a mother herself, she says she understands the hard questions working families are faced with when deciding on childcare.

"There's some research that's showing us that almost maybe 25% of childcare facilities may close and a lot of rural communities that are in an absolute place of childcare, desert, meaning there is nothing there's nothing available for working families," said Shelton.

State Senator André Jacque is a Republican who represents Senate District 1 which includes Door County. He says he isn't sure if continuing this funding is the answer.

"Long term, you don't want to just throw money at you know, in search of a solution. I think you want to search for systemic things," said Jacque.

Wednesday afternoon, Democratic legislators talked with community advocates about the childcare issues and what they plan to do.

"Today we are announcing that we are going to introduce stand-alone legislation to fund childcare counts and partner up programs," Democratic Representative Alex R. Joers.

The special session remains open, giving lawmakers a chance to revisit Evers' bills or more likely, take up other republican proposals at a future date.