I grew up in a town of 1000 — Wittenberg, Wisconsin, home of Nueske’s bacon. Living in a rural community, I appreciated how important it was to gain access to opportunities. My parents were hard-working public school teachers who taught me to work hard at a young age. I grew up pet-sitting, baby-sitting, and cleaning houses until I was old enough to work as a lifeguard and swim instructor in Wittenberg, Rothschild, and Weston. I always appreciated what Central Wisconsin had to offer. My mom would drive me to Stevens Point to take clarinet lessons at UWSP when I was in middle school, and I drove to Wausau every week for classes at UW-Marathon County at age 17.

I graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in political science and moved to Stevens Point to work at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. Working to build solar training capacity in the Midwest by creating a network of solar instructors and installers was a dream come true, and I fell in love with the incredible community.

In 2011, Wisconsin state government changed radically with one-party rule, and I found myself complaining. Working families were losing opportunities while out-of-state billionaires wrote legislation that politicians passed.

My parents taught me an important lesson — don’t complain, they’d say, unless you’re going to do something about it. 

So I did something about it.

I ran for office to give a voice to everyone in Wisconsin who believes in fairness, opportunity, and community. People deserve a government that represents them and an economy that works for them instead of against them.

Since 2013, I’ve worked to represent the average Joe in the Assembly — whether you’re a millworker, a postal carrier, a construction worker, a student, a farmer, or a senior, I’m here to listen to your story and be your voice in Madison.

It’s an honor to represent you, and I take every vote I cast and every speech I make seriously. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our community.

In the legislature

Rep. Shankland serves as Vice Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Water Quality Task Force, as the ranking member on the Assembly Committee on Colleges & Universities and Assembly Committee on Workforce Development, and as a member of the Assembly Committee on the Environment, Assembly Committee on Sporting Heritage, and Joint Audit Committee. 

She previously served as the Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader, and has also served on the Joint Finance Committee, the 16-member committee responsible for the state budget.

Rep. Shankland has been honored for her service in the State Assembly by farmers, veterans, firefighters, doctors, conservationists, public health experts, industry, and financial institutions. The following organizations have recognized her for her leadership in the Legislature:  

  • Wisconsin Land + Water: Friend of Conservation, 2020
  • Wisconsin Paper Council: Legislator of the Year, 2019
  • Wisconsin Wildlife Federation: Conservation Legislator of the Year, 2019
  • Wisconsin Community Development Financial Institutions: Distinguished Service by a Wisconsin Representative, 2019
  • Wisconsin Farmers Union: Friend of the Family Farmer, 2018
  • Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians: Friend of Family Medicine, 2018
  • Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards & Wisconsin Public Health Association: Friend of Public Health, 2018
  • Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin: Legislator of the Year, 2018
  • Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs: Legislator of the Year, 2017
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars: Legislator of the Year, 2017
  • Wisconsin Conservation Voters: Conservation Champion, every session since elected

Getting results

Rep. Shankland believes in getting results, working across the aisle to pass commonsense legislation that benefits everyone. During the most recent legislative session, she authored and introduced more original bills than any member of the State Assembly, the majority of which enjoyed bipartisan support. The bills she authored and the bills she cosponsored were bipartisan at a rate of 2:1.  

She has authored and passed bipartisan legislation to create a community paramedic program in Wisconsin, increasing access to affordable healthcare while creating jobs in rural communities. She also worked with both parties to change the law to help Skyward stay in Wisconsin when state law unfairly affected their business. She has been a consistent and vocal advocate to stop Sexually Violent Persons (SVPs) from being shipped to Central Wisconsin. Rep. Shankland also authored and passed legislation to help people with disabilities get access to long-term, meaningful employment, a bill which Governor Walker highlighted in his Blueprint for Prosperity agenda. Most recently, her legislation to streamline the process for local governments to hold a referendum and save taxpayer money was signed into law by Governor Evers.

Katrina and a constituent standing in a river wearing wadersAs Vice Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality, Rep. Shankland traveled all over the state, holding 14 public hearings and touring wetlands and farms to learn more about local water quality efforts. She worked with the members of the task force in both parties to introduce 10 bipartisan clean water bills, all of which passed unanimously in the State Assembly recently.

Currently, Rep. Shankland is working around the clock to respond to covid-19. She is on calls each week with local, state, and federal government, business leaders, public health experts, and the medical community. From frequently contacting the Department of Workforce Development Secretary with ideas to improve unemployment insurance to advocating for small business grants in the Legislature, Rep. Shankland is committed to serving the community and getting results.

At home in Portage County

Katrina and her husband live in Stevens Point with their dogs Stitch and Lyra. They are both UWSP graduates, Katrina recently graduating with a Master of Science in Community and Organizational Leadership from UW-Stevens Point.

They enjoy the Green Circle Trail, visiting the area’s breweries, distillery, and winery, attending community events and live music, and kayaking, hiking, and biking in the great outdoors.