MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin State Senate convened Tuesday morning so that Democrats could take over as the majority party.
But their desire to call the full legislature back into session this year is not being well received by their Republican counterparts.
Senator John Lehman's win over incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard in Racine tipped the scales in the Democrats 17-16.
The Democrats named Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) as the new Senate President and Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Madison) as the new Senate Pro-Tempore.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, now the Minority Leader, spoke to the full body about the transition of power.
"Today, after two summers of recalls, Republicans turn the majority over to the Democrats," said Sen. Fitzgerald. "However, with all the Senate Republicans have done this past session to get on the right path, I am confident that we will regain the majority this fall, so we can keep Wisconsin moving forward."
The Democrats new Majority Leader, Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona), laid out a plan for job creation, which includes accelerating public works projects and providing a $10 million grant program for job training.
"We are the eighth worst in the country in terms of job creation, and people who are out of work can't wait another six months for us to do our job," said Sen. Miller.
But, the Fitzgerald brothers made it clear they are not interested in having the legislature come back into session this year.
"I think zero, yeah, zero chance," said Sen. Fitzgerald.
"It amazes me that Democrats now want to think about job creation," said Rep. Fitzgerald.
The Fitzgeralds would rather wait for November.
With 16 seats up for re-election, they believe voters in redrawn districts will hand the Senate back over to Republicans.
But, the new Senate President said that's not guaranteed.
"Even though they're re-drawn, everyone of the areas that are up for contention by the Democrats was carried by Obama four years ago," said Sen. Risser (D-Madison).
Even if there is no special session, Sen. Miller said he does want to schedule committee hearings and has already made new appointments, including naming Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) as co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee.
MADISON (WKOW) - Control of the Wisconsin State Senate is now in the hands of the Democratic Party.
With a 17-16 majority, Democrats appointed Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) as the new Senate President and Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) as the new President Pro-Tempore.
Republicans called the Senate to the floor Tuesday morning to facilitate the transition of power, after incumbent Van Wanggaard finally conceded defeat at the hands of John Lehman in the 21st Senate District last week.
Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) is the new Senate Majority Leader, with Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) moving to the role of Minority Leader.
Sen. Fitzgerald spoke on the floor of the Republican's achievements in the last 18 months and expressed confidence that the GOP would regain control of the Senate after November, when 16 seats are up for re-election.
Sen. Miller expressed a desire to have the legislature re-convene on four jobs-related bills, but neither Sen. Fitzgerald nor his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), seemed to have any interest in such a proposal.
Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann was at today's Senate proceedings and will have live reports on 27 News at 5 and 6.
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