GOP takes full control of state government

Republicans regain control of state Senate
GOP takes full control of state government

Wisconsin Republicans have retaken full control of state government after claiming majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly.

Results from Tuesday’s elections show that the GOP captured an open Senate seat and fended off challengers to four incumbents, giving Republicans a narrow majority in the Senate. Republicans easily maintained their majority in the Assembly.

With Republican Gov. Scott Walker in office, the party once again has full run of state government. And the ramifications are huge. With Democrats on the sidelines, Republicans will be able to pass any proposal without help from Democrats.

Republicans gained control of the governor’s office, the Senate and the Assembly in 2010. Democrats had won a narrow Senate majority in June’s recall elections, but Tuesday’s election erased that edge.

A tight race in Fox Valley will likely replace recall-elected Sen. Jessica King with Republican Rick Gudex. The state Senate will stand at an 18-15 Republican majority if the Gudex victory is validated.

Lawmakers will likely focus on the state budget, with discussions already focusing on an income tax cut.

“There’s a lot of talk about some type of tax cut that would have a direct impact on the amount of revenue that individuals have in their pocket and available because it would spur the economy along,” said Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

“I would hope that we take care of other aspects of our budget before we start talking about cutting income taxes,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton.

Democratic Sen. Mark Miller announcing he won’t lead the caucus anymore. Erpenbach said he’ll run for the leadership position in hopes of having more of a voice for Democrats in January.

“We would like to participate as much as they will allow us, and Republicans have a responsibility, based on the mixed messages from last night’s election, to make sure they sit down and work with us the best they can,” Erpenbach said.

If canvass results give King a surprise win, Republicans would still hold a one-vote majority in the Senate. A one-vote majority made moderate Republican Sen. Dale Schultz very important last season as he broke with his party on some legislation.

Republican leaders also said they are looking to revisit some mining legislation.