The reason is different, but for the second year in a row there is controversy surrounding Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and the state Christmas tree.  News sources are reporting that the Governor has cancelled plans to display the decorated tree in the rotunda citing COVID-19 as the reason.

The news came in the form of a letter sent to Wisconsin school children across the state.  Traditionally, the Christmas tree that stands in the rotunda in Madison features hand-made decorations sent in from the kids as requested by the Governor. Instead of an invitation to send them in, sources say that:

"[h]e sent a letter Tuesday to teachers and students saying there would be no tree in the Capitol this year since the building is closed. He asked students to craft ornaments instead for veterans homes, hospitals and nursing homes and send them to the DOA. He said the ornaments should “celebrate hope.”

Officially, the Evers administration lists COVID-19 as the rational behind not displaying a tree this year.  The building has been closed to the general public since March.

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Careful Wisconsin-Christmas followers will note that this represents the second year in a row that there has been controversy surrounding the tree in the capitol.  Last year, Evers - a Democrat - got into a scrimmage with Republican lawmakers when he made a change to call the tree a "Holiday Tree" instead of a "Christmas Tree".  Some are observing that cancelling the tree altogether removes any chance of a dust-up.

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