Governor-elect Evers hopeful as he begins his first term Monday

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Governor-Elect Tony Evers will take office on January 7. It will be the first time in a decade Wisconsin’s capitol will have divided control.

The divide will be a challenge for both parties, and with a budget due in July Governor-Elect Evers said it’s time to compromise.

“Are there going to be bumps in the road? Yes,” said Governor-Elect Evers, “But we will be making good progress on those priority areas in the budget.”

Evers said transportation, education and healthcare will be priority. In December, Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes traveled the state for the ‘Building the People’s Budget’ tour. During the tour the public was asked to share their budget priorities.

Evers anticipates healthcare will be one of the most difficult topics to budget.

“That is going to be the most complex area. But it’s also one that the people of Wisconsin continue to say is a top priority,” said Evers.

Evers said healthcare will be complex not only because of a divide at the state-level, but also at a federal level. In December a Texas judge ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. That ruling now faces appeals.

In the two months since Evers won the November election, he's been filling his cabinet, visiting with Wisconsin residents and continuing to do what he said helped him win the election: Bring people together.

"I'm feeling good. The transition has been exciting, sometime frustrating but overall making some good progress," said Evers.

Evers said finding common ground is something he's committed to, even after the current administration passed a series of bills to limit the Governor-Elect's powers in a lame-duck session.

"That can't stop me from doing what the people of Wisconsin sent me here to day," said Evers.

Evers believes people placed him in office because they believed in his platform, to improve the state's transportation, education and healthcare systems.

"Those are Republican and Democratic issues. There isn't a republican mom in Wisconsin that says she doesn't care about education. Of course they do," said Evers.

Evers will also need to work to bridge a gap among voters in the state. Evers won the statewide election by a mere 1.1 percent. He said once sworn in this will be his message:

"We're going to be intentional about giving people hope... We have to give them confidence we're going to do things for them," said Evers.

When asked if there were any laws Governor Scott Walker put in place that Evers is looking to change, he said his administration plans to look at Act 10; which may not require legislation, but changes to how it is managed.

Other provisions in his proposed 2019-2021 state budget include restoring access to driver licenses and in-state college tuition for Wisconsin immigrant families, along with an increase to the state's minimum wage, which is currently $7.25.