Senator Duey Stroebel was elected to the Senate in April of 2015. Prior to serving in this body, Senator Stroebel was a member of the Assembly, the Cedarburg School Board, and numerous civic organizations and boards.
As a successful small businessman in real estate development, Senator Stroebel’s focus is toward reforms that preserve taxpayer resources. While in the Assembly, Senator Stroebel authored reform of double-dipping for retirees. While in the Senate, Stroebel worked with his senate colleagues to repeal prevailing wage for local projects.
This session, Senator Stroebel will chair the committee on Government Operations, Technology & Consumer Protection; vice-chair the committee on Financial Institutions, Constitution & Federalism; and serve as a member of Judiciary & Public Safety, and the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules.
Senator Stroebel resides in Cedarburg with his wife Laura. The Stroebels have eight children, three of whom are here today: Trevor, Stewart, and Mary. Senator Stroebel is also joined by his sisters Robin and Christine and mother-in-law Dolores.
Senator Shilling Introduced Senator Wirch
Senator Bob Wirch was re-elected this November to his sixth term in the Wisconsin State Senate. He proudly serves the 22nd Senate District, which includes the City of Kenosha, the City of Racine, the Village of Mount Pleasant and the Village of Elmwood Park. Throughout his tenure in public service, Senator Wirch has been steadfast in his commitment to speaking with constituents and responding to their concerns.
A third-generation Kenosha native, Senator Wirch followed in his father and grandfather’s footsteps working at the American Brass Company for over two decades. While working at American Brass, he attended night classes at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, earning a Bachelor’s degree. He also served in the Army Reserve from 1965 until 1971. Senator Wirch was elected to the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors in 1986 where he served for eight years and worked to help establish the Shalom Center. He was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1992 and served until his election to the State Senate in 1996.
Senator Wirch is supported by his loving family. He is the oldest of six children born to Walter and Dorothy Wirch. Senator Wirch and his wife Mary have two grown children, David and Julia.
Today Senator Wirch is joined by his wife Mary and his cousin Sue Dopp and her husband Ron Biendseil.”
Senator Fitzgerald Introduced Senator Testin
Senator-elect Patrick Testin, representing the 24th Senate District, will be joining the legislature for the first time. Born in Madison, raised in Marinette, Senator-elect Testin has been active in the community since graduating from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. He is a member of the Ignite Leadership Network of Portage County, a young professionals branch of the United Way, and a member of the Elks Lodge 641.
Senator-elect Testin brings his knowledge from a successful career in sales to the legislature, and will apply it as the Chair of Workforce Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues.
Senator-elect Testin would like to welcome his fiancée, Hannah Henderson, as well as his parents Matt and Paula Testin. Also in attendance today is his Uncle Joel Egan, Bill Henderson, Mary Henderson and BJ Henderson and friends April Disher, Baylie Disher, Amelia Heup, Brian Morczynski, and Nik Nelson.”
Senator Shilling Introduced Senator Risser
Senator Fred Risser was re-elected to represent the 26th Senate District—home of the State Capitol and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The district includes much of the City of Madison and the Village of Shorewood Hills. A native Madisonian, Senator Risser is the fourth generation of his family to represent this area in the Wisconsin Legislature. He was elected to the Assembly in 1956 and to the Senate in 1962. Senator Risser’s lifelong dedication to public service gives him the distinct honor of being the longest serving state legislator in the United States. He is also regarded as an expert on the rules and procedures of the Wisconsin Senate.
During his tenure in the Wisconsin Legislature, Senator Risser has left a mark on countless areas of policy. His most notable achievement has been enactment of the SmokeFree Wisconsin Act, which has cleared the air in businesses and public spaces throughout the state. Senator Risser is a tireless advocate for maintaining the University of Wisconsin as a world-class teaching and research institution by providing appropriate resources and facilities to draw top students and faculty. He is passionate about preserving Wisconsin’s natural resources through stewardship, the protection of state parks, and expansion of Wisconsin’s vast network of recreational trails.
Joining Senator Risser today is his wife, Nancy Risser, his son Warner Risser, his daughters Lisa White and Sara Risser, his son-in-law Doug Falck, and his grandchildren Adam White, Lizzy White and Noelle Risser.
Senator Fitzgerald Introduced Senator Craig
Senator Craig joins the Senate after having served in the Assembly from 2011 to 2017.
 A practicing real estate agent, former Trustee for the Village of Big Bend, and former aide to Congressman Paul Ryan, Senator Craig brought his experiences to the Assembly where he worked primarily on banking, judiciary and regulatory reform issues.
 Joining Senator Craig in attendance today are his wife, Amy, their children; William, James, Henry, Greta, Paul, and Ruth; his parents, Bill and Carol Craig and his in-laws, Bernie and Karen Schulz as well as his sister Mary, brother Paul and many other members of his family who he thanks for their support as well as his constituents and the Lord for blessing him with the opportunity to serve his state in this office.
Senator Shilling Introduced Senator Hansen
Re-elected to serve the 30th Senate District, Senator Dave Hansen will once again represent communities in Brown, Oconto, and Marinette Counties. He was first elected to the district in November 2000, making this his fifth term in the Legislature. Senator Hansen will also be a strong voice for the Senate Democratic Caucus as Assistant Democratic Leader once again.
Senator Hansen’s roots in the Green Bay area run deep. Not only is he a third-generation resident, but he also worked as a teacher for eight years at Annunciation Grade School, a truck driver for nearly 20 years at Green Bay’s Department of Public Works, and a Supervisor for six years in Brown County.
Through years of dedicated service to his neighbors, Senator Hansen has been a proponent of middle class workers, like himself, and their families. This session, he will be fighting to protect Wisconsin’s shared values as a member of the following committees: Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism, Energy, Consumer Protection, and Government Reform, Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs, and Survey of Retirement Systems.
Joining Senator Hansen today is his wife Jane Hansen, his brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Mary Jo Hansen, his brother Donald Hansen and members of the Bicoy family.
Senator Bewley Introduced Senator Shilling
“Senator Jennifer Shilling was elected to her second term in the State Senate in November. The 32nd Senate District is home to the communities of Monroe, La Crosse, Vernon, and Crawford counties in western Wisconsin. The area is known for the natural beauty of the Mississippi River, many rural communities and home to the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and top notch health care facilities. Prior to being elected to the Wisconsin Legislature, Senator Shilling worked as a legislative aide to State Representative Mark Meyer and Congressman Ron Kind. In addition to representing her community as a State Senator, Senator Shilling also served as a La Crosse County Supervisor and the State Representative for the 95th Assembly District.
Senator Shilling has been a strong vice for the values ad priorities of her neighbors and constituents. She is proud to support public education and higher education, including our technical colleges and university system, in addition to fostering economic development and creating family supporting jobs. Senator Shilling will again further her efforts to move Wisconsin forward by continuing to serve as the Senate Democratic Leader.
Joining Senator Jennifer Shilling today is her husband Chris, their sons Nate and Zach, several family members, including her sisters Joy Ehlenfeldt and Dana Sampson, several nieces, nephews and cousins, Chris’s sister, Amanda Shilling, and relatives Bill and Marge Babcock, Ann Elhlenfeldt, and Barbara Wiese. Jennifer thanks her family for their love and support and good humor. Together they attend parades, pancake breakfasts, county fairs, and countless other community events, and after 5 years in the Senate, they are still good sports about it.
Oath of Office
Upon the calling of the newly elected Senators on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the following appeared before the Senate, took and subscribed the oath of office which was administered by the Honorable Daniel Kelly, Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Robert Cowles     Lena C. Taylor
LaTonya Johnson     Alberta Darling
Sheila E. Harsdorf     Tom Tiffany
Luther S. Olsen     Mark Miller
Dan Feyen       Duey Stroebel
Robert W. Wirch     Patrick Testin
Fred A. Risser     Dave Craig
Dave Hansen       Jennifer Shilling
Call of Roll
The roll was called, disclosing the presence of a quorum.
Pursuant to Senate Rule 15, the official attendance for session was:
Senators Bewley, Carpenter, Cowles, Craig, Darling, Erpenbach, Feyen, S. Fitzgerald, Hansen, Harsdorf, Johnson, Kapenga, C. Larson, Lasee, LeMahieu, Marklein, Miller, Moulton, Nass, Olsen, Petrowski, Ringhand, Risser, Roth, Shilling, Stroebel, L. Taylor, Testin, Tiffany, Vinehout, Vukmir, Wanggaard and Wirch - 33.
Absent with leave None - 0.
In the Chair
Pursuant to Senate Rule 2 (1), Senator Fitzgerald in the chair.
2:54 P.M.
Consideration of motions, resolutions, and joint resolutions not requiring a third reading
hist62970Considered as privileged and taken up.
hist62969Senate Resolution 1
Relating to: notifying the assembly and the governor that the 2017-2018 senate is organized.
By Senators S. Fitzgerald, Roth, Vukmir, Shilling and Bewley.
hist62972The question was: Adoption of Senate Resolution 1?
The ayes and noes were required and the vote was: ayes, 33; noes, 0; absent or not voting, 0; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Bewley, Carpenter, Cowles, Craig, Darling, Erpenbach, Feyen, S. Fitzgerald, Hansen, Harsdorf, Johnson, Kapenga, C. Larson, Lasee, LeMahieu, Marklein, Miller, Moulton, Nass, Olsen, Petrowski, Ringhand, Risser, Roth, Shilling, Stroebel, L. Taylor, Testin, Tiffany, Vinehout, Vukmir, Wanggaard and Wirch - 33.
Noes None - 0.
Absent or not voting None - 0.
Senate Officers Oath of Office
The President, Roger Roth, the President Pro Tempore, Howard Marklein, the Chief Clerk, Jeffery Renk, 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 Daniel Kelly, Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In the Chair
Senate President Roth in the chair.
3:01 P.M.
Remarks of President Roth
“I’d like to begin by thanking a few people whose presence here today has greatly added to the spirit of this celebration. Pastor Alvin Dupree, I deeply appreciated your opening prayer today. Pastor Dupree came to my community not that many years ago – after a 20 plus career in the Marine Corps, he and his wife Chantelle established Family First Ministries in Appleton. Pastor thank you for being with us today.
I would like to thank Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly. Your presence here today made everything official, so thank you for being here. We appreciated your words.
I’d also like to thank Craig Kellenberger, who is the Director of Orchestras at the Renaissance School of Arts, which is a half-day charter school and part of the Appleton Area School District. You and your students did an amazing job here today – thank you for sharing your talents with us.
Next, I’d like to recognize the members of the Chief Clerk’s office, particularly those seated before me today: Chief Clerk Jeff Renk, Erin Gillitzer, Sarah Burhop, Jeffrey Beighley and John Gibson. Together with the Sergeant at Arms Ted Blazel, the Sergeant’s staff and page staff – you make our lives as Senators easier in immeasurable ways. We thank you in advance for all you do for us.
And now I’d like to thank the individuals closest to me. First, I’d like to recognize my life’s inspiration, motivation and love – the mother of our three amazing little boys – my beautiful wife Rebecca. Thank you for your love and support.
Sir Isaac Newton was rumored to have once said that, “if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Seated next to my wife are the two individuals whose shoulders my three brothers and I stand on. They taught us to be gentlemen – to love God and treat people with dignity and respect. They have names in their own right, but to me they’re Mom and Dad. Thanks for all you do for me.
And now to the members of this body. I am honored by your selection of me to serve as Senate President for this body during the upcoming session. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I’m deeply committed to ensuring this session of the legislature is wildly successful – and I assure you it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m up for re-election in two years.
Inaugurations like these truly are remarkable celebrations. They are the crowning achievement in our system of self-government, as fought for and advanced by faithful men and women through the ages. The people of our great state have spoken on Election Day, and we here today respect their wishes with a peaceful transfer of power to the 33 men and women seated here – chosen by the people – who will exercise their powers in the upcoming session as granted to them through our constitution.
We have been well served by our past Senate presidents through the years, from Senator Fred Risser, whose accomplishments have been well noted already today, to that of Senator Mary Lazich who herself became the first woman to serve in that leadership role, whom I might add did an amazing job.
In talking with my immediate predecessor in the State Senate, former Senator Mike Ellis, he impressed upon me the fact that though political parties have their place – nothing can be allowed to trump the integrity and institution of the Wisconsin State Senate. To that end, it is my aim to enforce the rules of this body in equal measure on all members to ensure the minority has an opportunity to be heard while at the same time not infringing on the right of the majority in achieving their goals.
I appreciate in advance your patience with me presiding, as I become more settled in this new role, and I look forward to listening to your many thought-filled debates.
Thank you.”
President Roth introduced the Senators returning from the 102nd Session: Senators Lasee, Carpenter, Vukmir, Larson, LeMahieu, Nass, Fitzgerald, Ringhand, Marklein, Roth, Wanggaard, Moulton, Bewley, Erpenbach, Petrowski, and Vinehout.