Behind the scenes: Work gets underway for 2013 legislative sessionElections are completed and the 2013-2014 Wisconsin Legislature is beginning to come to order.
By: By Sen. Mary Lazich, Superior Telegram
Elections are completed and the 2013-2014 Wisconsin Legislature is beginning to come to order.
Last Thursday, the Senate Republican Caucus convened and welcomed three new members, senators-elect Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac, Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and presumptive senator-elect, Paul Farrow of Pewaukee.
The senate Republicans established leadership for the next two years. Illustrating the effectiveness of last session’s caucus, the majority leader, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald; president, Sen. Mike Ellis; president pro tempore, Sen. Joe Leibham; and assistant majority leader, Sen. Glenn Grothman, retained their positions with unanimous votes. The caucus also unanimously approved Sen. Frank Lasee as caucus chairman.
In addition, Gov. Scott Walker addressed the caucus. He began by applauding the work we did last session. Although we held the line on taxes, state revenues are on the rise, he said.
The governor also reiterated the importance of the upcoming session for those out of work. He emphasized the need for tax reform in Wisconsin, and said many upcoming changes should garner bipartisan support. Walker plans to speak with all four partisan caucuses.
The 2013-14 session begins with inauguration Jan. 7. Before then, behind the scenes work will take place. Leadership will form committees, appoint chairs and announce committee members.
Office moves will take place.
Legislators and staff may also begin drafting legislation during this time; however, bills cannot be formally introduced until after inauguration.
The legislature has wasted little time preparing for the next two years. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve Senate District 28 by maintaining last session’s path to a balanced budget, eliminating deficits, paying down debt, less taxes and nurturing job creation.
Sen. Mary Lazich is a Republican from New Berlin, Wis. She can be reached at 800-334-1442 or Sen.Lazich@legis.wisconsin.gov.