Tue January 8, 2013
GOP Opens Legislative Session With Call For Bipartisanship
The Republican leaders of the state legislature used their Inauguration Day speeches yesterday to call for more bipartisanship in the upcoming session.
Both Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos referenced the contentious battles of last legislative session, which was likely one of the most contentious in state history. Fitzgerald talked about the repeated rounds of recall elections that were sparked by Republicans' decision to curb union rights for most public employees, "Those days are behind us. And my hope for this session is to transcend the bitterness of the recall and move forward together with a renewed spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation."
Speaker Vos said he wanted Republicans and Democrats shared the same goals--a prosperous economy and successful schools. He promised to work with every legislator, "Today is a new day. We must let the contentious debates of the past stay there. We must instead focus on finding new ways to move Wisconsin forward together."
Whether those pledges to work together pan out once session gets going remain to be seen. Both Vos and Fitzgerald stressed the need for a rewrite of the state's mining laws, setting up a repeat of one of the ugliest legislative fights from last session.