New Assembly session under way with GOP in charge

Assembly ends session with bitter fights

The Wisconsin state Assembly has begun its two-year session by inaugurating its members and electing a new speaker.

Republicans control the Assembly 59-39 with one seat vacant in a Republican district. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser administered the oath collectively to all 98 members on Monday.

Some Democrats were sworn in earlier in the day at a separate ceremony presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is among the guests who attended the ceremony. He said he came to see his old friend Robin Vos get elected as speaker.

Vos replaces fellow Republican Jeff Fitzgerald. Rep. Scott Suder of Abbotsford is the majority leader and Rep. Peter Barca of Kenosha is Democratic minority leader.

Seven former speakers of the Wisconsin state Assembly gathered for the ceremony where Vos takes over the post for the next two years.

Prosser, one of the former speakers, administered the oath to Vos on Monday. Six other former speakers watched from the gallery. They are Jeff Fitzgerald, Mike Huebsch, John Gard, Scott Jensen, Walter Kunicki and Harold V. Froehlich.

Also attending the ceremony is Vos’s parents and his sixth grade teacher Barbara Scherrer.

Vos thanked Scherrer in his comments to the Assembly, saying she was a wonderful example of the influence teachers can have on people’s lives.