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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    May 20, 2024

    State Bar Honors Rep. Evan Goyke with Scales of Justice Award

    Rep. Goyke is being honored for his leadership efforts in the 2023-24 legislative session advancing issues of importance to the judicial system.

    Lynne Davis

    Rep. Evan Goyke

    May 20, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin's Legislative Oversight Committee is proud to announce the 2023-24 Scales of Justice Award will be conferred to State Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee).

    The Scales of Justice Award was created to formally recognize and thank policymakers for aiding the association in fostering and maintaining the high standards of the legal profession. The award is given to legislators demonstrating a commitment to the State Bar’s mission of improving access to justice and carrying that mission forward to positively impact the courts, the legal profession, and the public through the legislative process.

    Rep. Goyke is being honored for his leadership efforts in the 2023-24 legislative session advancing issues of importance to the judicial system.

    Lynne DavisLynne Davis, is a government relations coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached by email, or by phone at (608) 250-6045.

    As a member of the legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee, he helped raise awareness and proposed meaningful solutions for the funding crisis and staffing shortages in district attorney and public defender offices throughout the state, ensuring access to justice is not only a promise but a reality for the many people it touches. Specifically, Rep. Goyke successfully fought for increased starting salaries for newly hired state prosecutors and public defenders, pay progression for existing state attorneys, a raise in the hourly pay for the private bar rate, and additional funding for newly created circuit courts.

    Charles Stertz, chair of the State Bar's Legislative Oversight Committee, said “these changes will ensure Wisconsin citizens navigating the court system receive the support they need, while also making huge strides to attract and retain dedicated professionals within the legal system.”

    A strong advocate for increased funding of the courts, Rep. Goyke is also passionate about reforming the expungement process in the state of Wisconsin. For years, he has worked tirelessly to expand eligibility for the expungement of court records, an issue supported by the State Bar, and we are grateful to have him as one of the issue’s strongest champions. He has helped inform his colleagues in the legislature about the life-long collateral consequences of a criminal record and the barrier to success it can be for many individuals who have already paid their debt to society.

    “While the legislature has yet to pass expungement reform, Rep. Goyke’s dedication to informing others about this matter has made significant headway toward the goal of true change in Wisconsin,” added Stertz.

    Advocating for reform within the criminal justice system and increased funding for the courts is only a snapshot of legislation Rep. Goyke has pursued throughout his tenure, but those pursuits have been the most impactful to the State Bar members and the clients they represent.

    For these reasons, Rep. Evan Goyke is extremely deserving of the 2024 Scales of Justice Award. The city of Milwaukee is lucky to have Rep. Goyke now working on its behalf, and the State Bar will miss him and his never-ending desire to improve the criminal justice system, dearly in the legislature.

    A ceremony presenting Rep. Goyke with his award will be held in the coming months.

    The Scales of Justice Award was most recently given to Reps. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) and Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) and Sens. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Eric Wimberger (R-Green Bay) in 2023.

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