It is back to work for our state representatives in Madison. Although their definition of work isn’t like ours. The previous legislature essentially took 2020 off, not meeting since April. Perhaps not much has changed in Madison. The Governor is still a democrat, and the legislature is still controlled by republicans. They have different views. But that doesn’t mean they can’t work together to solve the problems people are facing in Wisconsin. There is much to be done, addressing the pandemic chief among them. Governor Evers put out a plan, which the previous legislature ignored. There is a new state budget to pass, one that will have to contend with a $370 million budget shortfall. There is increased demand for funding for public education, the UW System, roads and Medicaid. The Governor has also said he will offer proposals for criminal justice reform, sure to prompt a fight. But perhaps this is a time for optimism. We can’t undo the previous legislature’s failure to act on important issues. But we can demand that this new body, with newly elected officials, including in the La Crosse area, work to find common ground with their political opponents. Perhaps if they actually talked to each other once in a while, instead of just shouting at each other, they may find some areas where they actually agree.