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Saturday - February 17, 2018 10:37 am

Foxconn and freedom of speech tackled at UWL legislators' forum

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State rep Steve Doyle speaks at UW-L lawmakers forum.  Pictured from left are moderator Joe Heim, Sen. Patrick Testin, Doyle, Rep. Jill Billings, and Sen. Jennifer Shilling State rep Steve Doyle speaks at UW-L lawmakers forum. Pictured from left are moderator Joe Heim, Sen. Patrick Testin, Doyle, Rep. Jill Billings, and Sen. Jennifer Shilling WIZM News photo

Four area lawmakers take student questions during early-semester event

Every winter, UW-La Crosse students get a chance to quiz area legislators, usually on a Friday afternoon.

The tradition continued on Friday, with four lawmakers taking questions at the UW-L student union. 

Senators Jennifer Shilling and Patrick Testin sat on the panel, along with Assembly members Steve Doyle and Jill Billings, as political scientist Joe Heim served as moderator.

Testin, who represents Sparta and Tomah in the 24th District, was the lone Republican among the group, and many of the comments made by the lawmakers fell along party lines.

Asked about the Foxconn project, Testin said he has voted to help the company come to Wisconsin, and expects hundreds of companies around the state to be potential suppliers for the Foxconn factory. 

The other lawmakers were more critical of the Foxconn deal, with Doyle saying a $4.5 billion promise to one company is "risky," and Billings wondering if incentives should be offered to Kimberly-Clark to keep that paper-maker in the state.

Speaking about freedom of speech on college campuses, Shilling said hearing a point of view apart from your own is part of "stretching and growing."

Testin said allowing different political points of view at college is "vitally important," while Billings criticized some speakers who get "shouted down" at colleges for being "provocateurs."

 

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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