Ladies and gentlemen, Senator Bob Wirch."
Senator Decker Introduced Senator Lassa
"Senator Julie Lassa has been reelected to her second full term representing the 24th District in Central Wisconsin. She was first elected to the Senate in 2003, after serving two terms in the Assembly. As chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Senator Lassa will continue to seek creative and innovative ways to create new jobs and foster economic growth in these challenging times.
She is joined today by her parents, Jo and Jerry Lassa, her daughters, Taylor and Madison, and her husband John Moe. Please stand and be recognized.
Ladies and gentlemen, State Senator Julie Lassa."
Senator Decker Introduced Senator Risser
"Senator Risser represents the 26th Senate District. The district includes most of the City of Madison, parts of the cities of Middleton and Fitchburg, as well as the villages of Shorewood Hills and Maple Bluff. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1956, then to the State Senate in 1962. Senator Risser is currently the longest serving state legislator in the United States. His vast institutional knowledge is invaluable to members from both sides of the aisle, as he has witnessed ebbs and flows of the Legislature for over a half century.
During his tenure, Senator Risser has been an outspoken advocate for the University of Wisconsin System, greater access to healthcare for all, reproductive rights, and protecting the environment for generations to come. As presiding officer of the Senate, Senator Risser stands out as a master of the rules and procedure of the body. He is the senior member of the State of Wisconsin Building Commission, Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Council, and Chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations.
Senator Risser is joined today by his wife, Nancy; his children, Lisa, Sara and Warner and their families; as well as other special friends.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Senator Fred Risser."
Senator Fitzgerald Introduced Senator Lazich
"Senator Mary Lazich is beginning her third full term in the State Senate after first being elected in a special election in 1998. Senator Lazich served on the New Berlin City Council and the Waukesha County Board before answering the call to serve in the State Assembly in 1992.
The 28th District is made up of parts of Waukesha, Walworth, Racine and Milwaukee Counties. It is a diverse part of our state running the gamut from urban communities to bountiful farm land.
Senator Lazich has served in leadership positions in the Senate as both Majority Caucus Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Finance.
Senator Lazich is known as a leading voice on fiscal responsibility and protecting Wisconsin's children and families against sexual predators.
Senator Lazich and her husband Glen both continue to live in New Berlin where they raised their three adult children.
Joining Senator Lazich today are David and Karen Wimmer from Muskego."
Senator Decker Introduced Senator Hansen
"The Senator from the 30th District is beginning his third term in the state Senate.
A lifelong resident of Green Bay, he is a graduate of UW-Green Bay, a former teacher and truck driver for the City of Green Bay. He is a devoted husband and father who has stayed true to his blue-collar roots and his district.
He is an avid sports fan which is required when you represent the smallest market in the National Football League and he even served as an usher at Packer games. He is most at home when he is out in the district meeting his constituents and talking politics, discussing the Green Bay Packers or helping visitors to his district find the best fish fry.
Senator Hansen is joined by his wife Jane today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Senator Dave Hansen."
Senator Fitzgerald Introduced Senator Kapanke
"Senator Dan Kapanke is beginning his second term in the State Senate. He proudly serves the hard-working people of the Coulee Region with rolling hills, beautiful bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and rich farm lands. The 32nd District includes a five-county area from La Crosse to Prairie du Chien, to Hillsboro and Viola. Included in his district are the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Technical College, both strong economic engines for the area.
Senator Kapanke's focus continues to be on building the state's strong economic engine: the Agricultural Sector. He continues to work on economic development issues and job creation initiatives that make our state more attractive for business growth.
Joining Senator Kapanke today is Tony Bakken, an officer from the Prairie du Chien correctional facility."
Upon the calling of the newly elected Senators on Monday, January 5, 2009, the following appeared before the Senate, took and subscribed the oath of office which was administered by the Honorable Lynn Adelman of the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District of Wisconisn in Milwaukee.
Robert Cowles Lena C. Taylor
Spencer Coggs Alberta Darling
Sheila Harsdorf Jim Holperin
Luther Olsen Mark Miller
Randy Hopper Glenn Grothman
Robert Wirch Julie Lassa
Fred Risser Mary Lazich
Dave Hansen Dan Kapanke
Senator Risser in the chair.
The roll was called and the following Senators answered to their names:
Senators Carpenter, Coggs, Cowles, Darling, Decker, Ellis, Erpenbach, S. Fitzgerald, Grothman, Hansen, Harsdorf, Holperin, Hopper, Jauch, Kanavas, Kapanke, Kedzie, Kreitlow, A. Lasee, Lassa, Lazich, Lehman, Leibham, Miller, Olsen, Plale, Risser, Robson, Schultz, Sullivan, Taylor, Vinehout and Wirch - 33.
Absent - None.
Absent with leave - None.
Considered as privileged and taken up.
Senate Resolution 1
Relating to: notifying the assembly and the governor that the 2009-2010 senate is organized.
By Senators Senators
Risser, Decker, Hansen, S. Fitzgerald and Grothman.
The question was: Shall Senate Resolution 1 be adopted?
The ayes and noes were required and the vote was: ayes, 33; noes, 0; absent or not voting, 0; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Carpenter, Coggs, Cowles, Darling, Decker, Ellis, Erpenbach, S. Fitzgerald, Grothman, Hansen, Harsdorf, Holperin, Hopper, Jauch, Kanavas, Kapanke, Kedzie, Kreitlow, A. Lasee, Lassa, Lazich, Lehman, Leibham, Miller, Olsen, Plale, Risser, Robson, Schultz, Sullivan, Taylor, Vinehout and Wirch - 33.
Noes - None.
Absent or not voting - None.
The President, Fred A. Risser, the President Pro Tempore, Pat Kreitlow, the Chief Clerk, Robert J. Marchant, and the Sergeant at Arms, Edward A. Blazel, having been duly elected by the adoption of Senate Resolution 1, appeared together before the bar of the Senate, took and subscribed the oath of office which was administered by the Honorable Lynn Adelman of the U.S Federal Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
President Risser in the chair.
Remarks of President Risser
"According to the script, at this time I have an opportunity to say a few words, and I'm going to take that opportunity. I want to thank Pastor Harvey Stower for starting us out this afternoon, the VFW Day Post 7591 Color Guard Unit of Madison, Wisconsin for presenting the colors, the Trumpet Ensemble from Antigo High School directed by Jeff Dewey in the 12th Senate District for performing our National Anthem, and to Senator Carpenter for leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. We appreciate all of you participating in the events of this afternoon.
I also want to thank my Senate colleagues for selecting me as Presiding Officer for this session. I will certainly do my best to maintain the order and decorum of this body. I've served in both the Senate minority and Senate majority and I know that regardless of one's position or party, that everyone has a right to be recognized and has a right to discuss the issues of the day as they see them.
I want to also welcome to the Senate all the family and friends who are here this afternoon who attended our swearing in ceremony, we appreciate your presence. Over the years I've been in this body, I've never seen the doors to this body closed. We pride ourselves on being an open government, and we appreciate again you being here.
Now you may have noticed a couple of black boxes on the ceiling, and those black boxes have little cameras in them. The events today are being televised by Wisconsin Eye. This is the first session in which Wisconsin Eye will cover the Senate from gavel to gavel. It's possible for you to follow what were doing by watching their television network or on the internet, if you wish.
I also want to congratulate Senator Pat Kreitlow for being selected President Pro Tem for the next two years. While he is one of our newer Senators, in fact he's still in his first term, he's a quick study, and as such he has shown a great ability to handle the procedures of this body and I'm sure he will serve us very well.
I also appreciate the work of our Chief Clerk, Rob Marchant, and his staff. We could not function without them and I'm pleased for his willingness to continue to serve with us. For the last 30 years this Body has maintained a nonpartisan, professional Chief Clerk starting with Don Schneider. Regardless of party in the majority, the Chief Clerk and his staff have done a remarkable job of serving everyone in this body.
I'm also pleased that our Sergeant at Arms is going to stay with us for another two years. Ted Blazel has shown that he is a man who can handle this job very efficiently and he joins the list of top-notch, professional, nonpartisans who make this partisan body work.
A brief history of the Senate, which I think is interesting: You know Senators didn't always have a four-year term. Up until 1882 the term of State Senator was two years. My Great Grandfather, Colonel Warner, who lost an arm in the Civil War, was elected to the this body in 1868 and served one of those two year terms as State Senator. It's also interesting to note, I think, that you see a number of women in this body. No women served as State Senators for the first 127 years that Wisconsin was a state. The first woman State Senator was elected in 1975, and since then we've had a number women elected to leadership positions, and it makes the body much more interesting.
Also, until 1979, the Presiding Officer of this body was the Lieutenant Governor, who served as the President of the Senate. In 1979 the voters of this state amended the constitution to provide that the members of this body should select its own Presiding Officer from amongst its members. Since that time we've had three different Presiding Officers. In addition to myself, Senator Alan Lasee, who's still with us, served as President of the Senate for several sessions. Senator Lasee is also the only other Senator, other than myself, who was here in 1979 when we made the constitutional change, and we're all happy that he's still here with us today. Also we had former Senator Brian Rude serve for several different sessions. So the three of us have served as the only Presiding Officers of the Senate since 1979, when the constitution was changed.
I now want take this opportunity to publicly thank my wife, Nancy for all her help and support. I also want to thank my three children and their families: My daughter Lisa and Randy White and their children Clinton, Adam and Lizzy, my other daughter Sara and her husband Doug Falck, and finally my son Warner, and his wife, Amy and their daughter, Noelle along with two of my good friends, Bonnie Olver and Kara Sailing. They've been able to survive and tolerate my moods throughout my time in the State Legislature.
I want to conclude by saying that I'm truly honored by being selected as President of the Senate. I pledge to all of you that I will do my best to make this body the best legislative body in the country. And further, that we will honor and have an open and fair forum for all to participate in."
Remarks of Majority Leader Decker
"Mr. President, leader Fitzgerald, my fellow senators and their family and friends, thank you for being here today as we swear in the state senators to new terms of service to our state.
We have two new members to welcome and honestly, I wish we were welcoming them into an easier time.
After John F Kennedy won his election he said, "When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were."
So welcome to the state budget.
It's true the state has seen better times.
But our state has always risen to challenges and I'm confident this group of men and women will do the same.
In 1932, Wisconsin created the first unemployment insurance to take care of those who had lost their job. It became the model for the nation.
We didn't wait for anyone to show us how to make sure people had what they needed to get going again.
We provided the safety net of unemployment insurance if they lost their job, but also approved public work projects to make sure there were new jobs for them.
And there is no reason why we can't be the model again for how to turn our economy around quickly and get everyone working again.
We can do it by investing in the roads and bridges our businesses need to move their products.