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Monday, January 3, 2011

 4:08 PM 

Speaker Fitzgerald advises lawmakers to prepare for 'wild two-year ride'

Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald this afternoon said lawmakers must change the way of doing business in Madison after being sworn in as Assembly speaker for the 2011-2012 legislative session.

"On Nov. 2, the silent majority spoke," the Juneau Republican said after the chamber's 99 members were inaugurated today. "They aren't thrilled with Republicans, they aren't thrilled with Democrats.

"What they are demanding is that we put our differences aside and move this state forward."

Fitzgerald said his emphasis will be on putting people back to work and bringing "fiscal prosperity" back to the state. But he also cautioned members that the upcoming session could be the most difficult, but ultimately most rewarding, session of their careers.

"There is no single bill that will jump-start this economy," Fitzgerald said.

To the 30 freshman lawmakers being sworn in today, Fitzgerald advised them to enjoy the day with their families, "then fasten your seatbelts."

"It's going to be a wild two-year ride," Fitzgerald said.

The speaker also noted that his mother -- "the driving force behind the Fitzgerald boys" -- attended the Assembly ceremony while his father watched brother Scott Fitzgerald sworn in as majority leader in that chamber. He joked that when he's asked how his parents split up the brothers' official functions, "I always tell them it's very simple: I've always been my mom's favorite."

See Inauguration Day photos:


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