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Remarks by the Speaker
"Welcome friends and colleagues, esteemed guests, and all others who gather here today as the members of the 99th Wisconsin State Assembly are sworn into office. Thanks go to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, for presiding. I'd like to personally thank former Democratic Speakers Wally Kunicki and Tom Loftus who have been mentors and friends, and who join us here today.
I must thank my lovely wife, Sarah, for her constant support. I'm grateful to also be joined here today by my children: Jason, my oldest, and his fiancee, Amy, my son, Aaron, their children - Sam and Ella - and my youngest, my daughter, Hannah. Thanks also go to my Mom and Dad - of course, I wouldn't be here today without you.
It is my honor to be here today, both as a representative of my friends and neighbors, the people of the 44th Assembly district, and in my new role, as the Speaker of this legislative body.
This is a body of varied talents and experiences. We are mothers, fathers, and grandparents. We are veterans, police officers, industrial workers, business owners, teachers, farmers, doctors, and lawyers. We hail from rural and urban districts. We represent areas with decidedly more conservative or liberal views of the world. It is in these differences that we draw strength and gain greater perspective.
While we may come from diverse backgrounds, we are also a body of shared values. We feel motivated to serve others - to help them grow and thrive, and to solve problems.
To be sure, how we approach a problem or attempt to solve it may be different, but more often than not, what we see as "important" is the same: a strong economy, the good stewardship of taxpayer dollars, an accessible and affordable health care system, excellence in education, public safety, and a just system of law enforcement.
A7 These common values mean we have common challenges. We know that in this session, we face a budget deficit of historic proportions. Bridging that historic gap cannot be done without historic collaboration between the federal and state governments, between the executive and legislative branches, between the Senate and the Assembly, and, most importantly, between Democrats and Republicans.
Rebooting our economy will also be a challenge. Right now, we know that so many people are hurting. According to figures from DWD, in just the last year, more than 736,000 Wisconsinites filed for unemployment and initial claims are up 40 or 50 percent from this same time last year. The facts and figures are overwhelming and the personal stories, even more so.
Many of you know, before I served in the State Assembly, I manned the assembly line at the General Motors plant in Janesville. I come from a long line of hard workers: my father worked at GM for more than 40 years and my mother worked at Parker-Penn for more than 30 years. Following in my father's footsteps, I worked at GM for 31 years and last week, whole lifetimes and generations of that work came to a halt. With production on hold at the plant, thousands of people whose livelihoods depended on the American auto industry were put in jeopardy.
Their stories - this experience is playing out across our state. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin business giants like Midwest Airlines, Harley-Davidson, and Miller are cutting jobs. To our North, paper mills are closing, leaving hundreds without work.
We are given the ability and charged with the duty to take action.
Increased support for worker training and retraining programs, the encouraged growth of emerging industries - like green technologies - which hold the potential for thousands of family-supporting jobs, and a focus on buying locally - buying American - will be on our economic agenda, but there is room for innovative ideas from all members of this body, as we work to turn things around.
If you believe, as I do, that everyone's voice should be heard, that the tough times we are in require a different kind of politics and a return to civility - a path former Speaker Huebsch and Minority Leader Kreuser began walking down in the last session, and if you believe that the value of our success for the people we serve is greater than the value of our own individual or partisan interests, we can and we will work well together. In doing so, I believe that we can overcome the challenges we face in this state.
We have just taken our oaths of office. With those words, we pledge to serve the people we represent, to the best of our abilities. Today and throughout this session, I ask you not only to serve your constituents, but to truly serve with your colleagues.
I do not expect that we will always agree. In fact, I will be disappointed, if we do. As president of UAW Local 95, I saw that pushback in negotiations often led to the best product - the best outcome. I believe that healthy discourse is important, as we consider solutions to our biggest concerns. But let us not lose sight, in those debates, of the strengths of others, our shared values, and the challenges and opportunities that lay before us all.
Together, we can make this, the 99th congress of the Wisconsin State Assembly, the most efficient, industrious, and productive, ever. That should be our ultimate shared goal and I pledge to do my part. Thank you."
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Election of Speaker Pro Tempore
Representative Colon nominated Representative Staskunas for the position of Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
Representative Berceau seconded the nomination of Representative Sheridan for the position of Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
There being no further nominations, the speaker declared nominations closed.
Representative Nelson asked unanimous consent that a unanimous ballot be cast with all members of the Assembly recorded as voting for Representative Staskunas for Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore. Granted.
For Representative Staskunas - Representatives Ballweg, Barca, Benedict, Berceau, Bernard Schaber, Bies, Black, Brooks, Clark, Colon, Cullen, Danou, Davis, Dexter, Fields, J. Fitzgerald, Friske, Garthwaite, Gottlieb, Grigsby, Gunderson, Gundrum, Hebl, Hilgenberg, Hintz, Hixson, Honadel, Hraychuck, Hubler, Huebsch, Jorgensen, Kaufert, Kerkman, Kessler, Kestell, Kleefisch, Knodl, Kramer, Krusick, LeMahieu, Lothian, Mason, Meyer, Milroy, Molepske Jr., Montgomery, Mursau, Murtha, Nass, Nelson, Nerison, Newcomer, Nygren, A. Ott, J. Ott, Parisi, Pasch, Petersen, Petrowski, Pocan, Pope-Roberts, Pridemore, Radcliffe, Rhoades, Richards, Ripp, Roth, Roys, Schneider, Seidel, Sherman, Shilling, Sinicki, Smith, Soletski, Spanbauer, Staskunas, Steinbrink, Stone, Strachota, Suder, Tauchen, Toles, Townsend, Turner, Van Akkeren, Van Roy, Vos, Vruwink, Vukmir, A. Williams, M. Williams, Wood, Young, Zepnick, Ziegelbauer, Zigmunt, Zipperer and Speaker Sheridan - 99.
Absent or not voting - None.
Representative Staskunas was elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
Representatives Cullen and Hraychuck escorted Representative Staskunas to the rostrum.
The oath of office was administered by Speaker Sheridan.
__________________
A8 Remarks by the
Speaker Pro Tempore
"Fellow Members and Honored Guests:
I would like to sincerely thank my fellow members for electing me to serve as Speaker Pro Tem for the 2009-2010 Session of the State Assembly. I recognize that the office of Speaker Pro Tem, along with the office of Speaker of the Assembly, are the two positions who owe a duty to more than just a political party. The Speaker Pro Tem also has a responsibility to the institution of the State Assembly; a responsibility to guard the integrity, reputation, history and traditions of the Assembly. I will do my best to honor and respect the institution of the State Assembly.
In addition to the oath of office that we have just taken, each one of us as members of the State Assembly has a duty to respect this institution. We owe this duty to the members who came before us, to the public and to our constituents. We have 25 members who are now in their first or second term in the State Assembly. This is a great opportunity to chart a new direction of civility and statesmanship in this body. I would like to thank Speaker Huebsch and Minority Leader Kreuser for the great efforts they made last session in restoring civility to this body.
This promises to be an extremely difficult session. For the first time in 15 years control of the State Assembly has passed from one political party to the other. The State Assembly is by its nature a political institution. Our constituents have elected us to pursue competing agendas and often times these agendas are at odds. As Speaker Pro Tem, I will work hard to make sure that each member has the opportunity to air their views and that they do so in a dignified manner and in accordance with the rules of the State Assembly.
It has been my great honor to serve in this body for 12 years. I know that there are some days, particularly when we are in session, when it feels as though we are simply going to work. However, on this momentous Inauguration day, January 5, 2009, I would ask us all to reflect for a few moments on what a great privilege it is to serve in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Even as we have disagreements in the coming months, I am hopeful that all 99 members will respect the dignity of the institution, so that each member can say at the conclusion of this session that we left the State Assembly a better place than we found it.
Thank you."
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Election of Chief Clerk
Representative Toles nominated Patrick E. Fuller for the position of Chief Clerk of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
Representative Roth seconded the nomination of Patrick E. Fuller for the position of Chief Clerk of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
There being no further nominations, the Speaker declared nominations closed.
Representative Nelson asked unanimous consent that a unanimous ballot be cast with all members of the Assembly recorded as voting for Patrick E. Fuller for Assembly Chief Clerk. Granted.
For Patrick E. Fuller - Representatives Ballweg, Barca, Benedict, Berceau, Bernard Schaber, Bies, Black, Brooks, Clark, Colon, Cullen, Danou, Davis, Dexter, Fields, J. Fitzgerald, Friske, Garthwaite, Gottlieb, Grigsby, Gunderson, Gundrum, Hebl, Hilgenberg, Hintz, Hixson, Honadel, Hraychuck, Hubler, Huebsch, Jorgensen, Kaufert, Kerkman, Kessler, Kestell, Kleefisch, Knodl, Kramer, Krusick, LeMahieu, Lothian, Mason, Meyer, Milroy, Molepske Jr., Montgomery, Mursau, Murtha, Nass, Nelson, Nerison, Newcomer, Nygren, A. Ott, J. Ott, Parisi, Pasch, Petersen, Petrowski, Pocan, Pope-Roberts, Pridemore, Radcliffe, Rhoades, Richards, Ripp, Roth, Roys, Schneider, Seidel, Sherman, Shilling, Sinicki, Smith, Soletski, Spanbauer, Staskunas, Steinbrink, Stone, Strachota, Suder, Tauchen, Toles, Townsend, Turner, Van Akkeren, Van Roy, Vos, Vruwink, Vukmir, A. Williams, M. Williams, Wood, Young, Zepnick, Ziegelbauer, Zigmunt, Zipperer and Speaker Sheridan - 99.
Absent or not voting - None.
Patrick E. Fuller was elected Chief Clerk of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
The oath of office was administered by Speaker Sheridan.
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Election of Sergeant-at-Arms
Representative Zepnick nominated William M. Nagy for the position of Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
Representative Shilling seconded the nomination of William M. Nagy for the position of Sergeant-At-Arms of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
There being no further nominations, the Speaker declared nominations closed.
Representative Nelson asked unanimous consent that a unanimous ballot be cast with all members of the Assembly recorded as voting for William M. Nagy for Assembly Sergeant-at-Arms. Granted.
A9 For William M. Nagy - Representatives Ballweg, Barca, Benedict, Berceau, Bernard Schaber, Bies, Black, Brooks, Clark, Colon, Cullen, Danou, Davis, Dexter, Fields, J. Fitzgerald, Friske, Garthwaite, Gottlieb, Grigsby, Gunderson, Gundrum, Hebl, Hilgenberg, Hintz, Hixson, Honadel, Hraychuck, Hubler, Huebsch, Jorgensen, Kaufert, Kerkman, Kessler, Kestell, Kleefisch, Knodl, Kramer, Krusick, LeMahieu, Lothian, Mason, Meyer, Milroy, Molepske Jr., Montgomery, Mursau, Murtha, Nass, Nelson, Nerison, Newcomer, Nygren, A. Ott, J. Ott, Parisi, Pasch, Petersen, Petrowski, Pocan, Pope-Roberts, Pridemore, Radcliffe, Rhoades, Richards, Ripp, Roth, Roys, Schneider, Seidel, Sherman, Shilling, Sinicki, Smith, Soletski, Spanbauer, Staskunas, Steinbrink, Stone, Strachota, Suder, Tauchen, Toles, Townsend, Turner, Van Akkeren, Van Roy, Vos, Vruwink, Vukmir, A. Williams, M. Williams, Wood, Young, Zepnick, Ziegelbauer, Zigmunt, Zipperer and Speaker Sheridan - 99.
Absent or not voting - None.
William M. Nagy was elected Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly for the Ninety-Ninth Regular Session of the Legislature.
The oath of office was administered by Speaker Sheridan.
__________________
Communications
November 13, 2008
Mr. Patrick Fuller
Assembly Chief Clerk
Room 401, 17 West Main Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Dear Chief Clerk Fuller:
Pursuant to Assembly Rule 2 (2), the following officers have been duly elected by the Assembly Democratic Caucus:
Majority Leader: Thomas Nelson
Assistant Majority Leader: Donna Seidel
Majority Caucus Chair: Peter Barca
Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Barbara Toles
Majority Caucus Secretary: Ann Hraychuck
Majority Caucus Sergeant-at-Arms: Marlin Schneider
Sincerely,
Anthony J. Staskunas
Democratic Caucus Chair
__________________
November 14, 2008
Mr. Patrick Fuller
Assembly Chief Clerk
Room 401, 17 West Main Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Dear Chief Clerk Fuller:
Pursuant to Assembly Rule 2 (2), the following officers have been duly elected by the Assembly Republican Caucus:
Minority Leader: Jeff Fitzgerald
Assistant Minority Leader: Mark Gottlieb
Minority Caucus Chairperson: Scott Suder
Minority Caucus Vice-Chair: Joel Kleefisch
Minority Caucus Secretary: Mary Williams
Minority Caucus Sergeant-at-Arms: Gary Tauchen
Sincerely,
Scott Suder
Republican Caucus Chair
__________________
Seat Assignments
Pursuant to Assembly Rule 2 (4), for the 2009-2010 Legislative Session in the Assembly Chamber, Democrat members will be seated on the east (door) side of the center aisle, and in seats numbered 83, 84, 96, 97, 98, 99 and 100. Republican members will be seated in the seats on the west (window) side of the center aisle. Representative Wood will occupy seat number 81. Speaker Sheridan will occupy seat number 5. Seat number 82 will remain vacant.
A10 Member Seat No.
Ballweg52
Barca10
Benedict35
Berceau36
Bernard Schaber39
Bies79
Black33
Brooks46
Clark87
Colon11
Cullen89
Danou30
Davis22
Fields68
Fitzgerald.4
Friske49
Garthwaite34
Gottlieb3
Grigsby60
Gunderson77
Gundrum25
Hebl13
Hilgenberg57
Hintz12
Hixson58
Honadel20
Hraychuck84
Hubler95
Huebsch18
Jorgensen38
Kaufert21
Kerkman73
Kessler63
Kestell76
Kleefisch2
Knodl70
Kramer54
Krusick9
LeMahieu53
Lothian72
Mason92
Meyer44
Molepske Jr.29
Montgomery28
Mursau26
Murtha50
Nass41
Nelson6
Nerison43
Newcomer55
Nygren27
Ott, A48
Ott, J51
Parisi37
Pasch59
Petersen74
Petrowski80
Pocan14
Pope-Roberts65
Pridemore16
Radcliffe98
Rhoades19
Richards61
Ripp75
Roth42
Roys31
Schneider91
Seidel7
Sheridan5
Sherman88
Shilling85
Sinicki62
Smith97
Soletski67
Spanbauer47
Staskunas8
Steinbrink99
Stone56
Strachota45
Suder1
Tauchen71
Toles40
Townsend15
Turner96
Van Akkeren66
Van Roy78
Vos17
Vruwink86
Vukmir69
Williams, A.90
Williams, M.24
Wood81
Young64
Zepnick32
Ziegelbauer100
Zigmunt94
Zipperer23
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