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Monday, January 3, 2011

 4:12 PM 

Sen. Fitzgerald promises change to status quo

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said at the Senate swearing-in ceremony the there will be a lot of changes in how government operates.

"If you’re expecting more of the same, you’re going to be disappointed," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said under Walker and the new legislative leadership, "the phrase ;that’s the way we’ve always done things' is no longer a valid reason.

"There are going to be some disappointed lobbyists. There are going to be some disappointed bureaucrats. And there are going to be some very real changes to the status quo," he said.

See a draft of Fitzgerald's prepared remarks here.


Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona, vowed to work to meet the level of integrity Fitzgerald show when he was leading the minority caucus.

Miller said the workers, businesses and families of Wisconsin are counting on state government to do its job.

"Forward is the direction Democrats will move," he said.

In a brief interview following the ceremony, Sen. Fitzgerald said the change in status quo he referred to in his floor speech is already in evidence in Walker's proposal to revamp the Department of Commerce.

"It's a major shift," he said. "I think you'll see the Legislature work with the governor's office to mold it into something we think is workable."

On Walker's proposal to give the governor final approval on administrative rules changes, Fitzgerald was cautious in talking about the potential shift of power.

"We should be always concerned with that. There's got to be a separation of powers there ... we'll see what members have to say about that," he said.

Fitzgerald said he will bring his caucus together on Wednesday to talk about the bills slated for the special session.

The Senate will be on the floor Jan. 11 to take up some joint rules changes. Fitzgerald said the Senate will also be on the floor on Jan. 18, and he expects committees to begin working through the special session bills between Jan. 5 and 18.

"The State of the State is the 25th so he'll probably want to include some victories in that as well. Hopefully he can get that done," Fitzgerald said.

Listen to the interview here.


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