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71st Assembly candidates discuss issues

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71st Assembly District candidates Katrina Shankland (D) and Pat Testin (R) at Portage County Business Council Forum 10/5/12.
71st Assembly District candidates Katrina Shankland (D) and Pat Testin (R) at Portage County Business Council Forum 10/5/12.

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) - The two candidates for the 71st assembly seat representing much of the Stevens Point area were at their first face-to-face forum early Friday morning.

Democrat Katrina Shankland and Republican Pat Testin are seeking the seat being vacated by Louis Molepske Junior.

The two candidates agree jobs and the economy are the top issues, but they differ on how to solve the problems. On the issue of Labor negotiations and right-to-work, Shankland disagrees with how Republicans made sweeping changes without including everyone in the discussion.

Shankland says right-to-work legislation would drive down income 55-hundred dollars and does not promote a safe and comfortable workplace. Testin says we already have laws on the books for a 40-hour week and OSHA safety regulations, but does say both sides do need to discuss the issues so business and employees all prosper.

Nearly half of the questions centered around University of Wisconsin funding. Both candidates agree Madison should not be split away from the UW system. Shankland is a UW-Madison graduate, Testin a UW-Stevens Point graduate. Other topics covered by the candidates included school vouchers, groundwater use and protection, and the tax code. Both agree the tax code needs revision. Shankland supports eliminating many deductions to make taxes “fair” saying two-thirds of corporations don’t pay any income tax. Testin is for simplifying the code, and asked his opponent, “What is fair?”.

The 7:30 a.m. event was hosted by the Portage County Business Council.

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