Press Release: Gov. Evers Delivers Radio Address on Badger Bounceback Agenda on Justice Reform and Marijuana Legalization

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Delivers Radio Address on Badger Bounceback Agenda on Justice Reform and Marijuana Legalization 
Audio file of Radio Address.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on his Badger Bounceback agenda to address racial disparities in our justice system, legalize marijuana, and invest in treatment, rehabilitation, and other alternatives to incarceration, and programs to support safe community reentry. 

Hello, Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers here.

Our justice system has put a strain on our state, on our communities, and on our families for far too long. It has disproportionately impacted people of color, specifically Black and Native men, it has held back communities from achieving success—whether it’s in education, workforce, housing, healthcare, you name it.

The bottom line is—we have got to change.

If we’re going to bounce back from this pandemic and build the sort of future we want for our state, we have to get our priorities straight. We can’t keep throwing your taxpayer dollars into a system that isn’t working how it should.

That’s why our Badger Bounceback agenda takes bold steps forward by providing the largest increase to our Treatment Alternatives and Diversion program by providing an additional $15 million over the biennium, it also expands the earned release program so folks can start working towards release earlier and reduce recidivism, and it creates an earned compliance credit. 

We’re also proposing legalizing marijuana and regulating and taxing it—much like we do with alcohol—and modifying criminal penalties for marijuana-related crimes to align with legalization and create a process for individuals serving sentences or previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes to have the opportunity to repeal or reduce their sentences for nonviolent minor offenses.

And we're going to do better for our kids, by truly overhauling the system by focusing on evidence-based solutions and a community-based approach to facilities so that we can keep our kids closer to home. Folks, there's no true path forward for our state without justice reform. It's time to start investing in people—not prisons.

Thank you.