Devin currently resides in Oostburg and is the publisher and owner of the Lakeshore Weekly, a family-owned small business that serves the Sheboygan County area. He has previously served on the Sheboygan County Board and continues to serve his community as a member of the Oostburg and Sheboygan County’s Chambers of Commerce and Bethel OPC.
In his free time, Devin is an avid golfer and Ironman competitor. Devin has successfully completed nine Ironman triathlons.
Devin was elected to serve a member of the State Senate in 2014. In 2020, Devin was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Senate Majority Leader and currently serves on the Committee of Senate Organization, the Joint Committee of Employment Relations, the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization and the Joint Legislative Council.”
Oath of Office
Upon the calling of the newly elected Senators on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 the following appeared before the Senate, took and subscribed the oath of office in the Senate Chamber, which was administered by the Honorable Annette Kingsland Ziegler, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court:
André Jacque Tim Carpenter
Rob Hutton Chris Larson
Devin LeMahieu Steve Nass
John Jagler Mark Spreitzer
Howard Marklein Rachael Cabral-Guevara
Van H. Wanggaard Jesse James
Romaine Robert Quinn Dianne H. Hesselbein
Cory Tomczyk Jeff Smith
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 Agard, Ballweg, Bradley, Cabral-Guevara, Carpenter, Cowles, Felzkowski, Feyen, Hesselbein, Hutton, Jacque, Jagler, James, L. Johnson, Kapenga, Larson, LeMahieu, Marklein, Nass, Pfaff, Quinn, Roys, Smith, Spreitzer, Stafsholt, Stroebel, Taylor, Testin, Tomczyk, Wanggaard, Wimberger and Wirch - 32.
Absent with leave - None - 0.
Vacancies - 8th Senate District - 1.
Consideration of resolutions and joint resolutions not requiring a third reading
Relating to: notifying the assembly and the governor that the 2023-2024 senate is organized.
By Senators LeMahieu, Kapenga, Feyen, Agard and Smith.
hist161102The question was: Adoption of Senate Resolution 1?
The ayes and noes were required and the vote was: ayes, 29; noes, 3; absent or not voting, 0; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Agard, Ballweg, Bradley, Cabral-Guevara, Carpenter, Cowles, Felzkowski, Feyen, Hutton, Jacque, Jagler, James, L. Johnson, Kapenga, LeMahieu, Marklein, Nass, Pfaff, Quinn, Smith, Spreitzer, Stafsholt, Stroebel, Taylor, Testin, Tomczyk, Wanggaard, Wimberger and Wirch - 29.
Noes - Senators Hesselbein, Larson and Roys - 3.
Absent or not voting - None - 0.
Senate Officers Oath of Office
The President, Chris Kapenga, the President Pro Tempore, Patrick Testin, the Chief Clerk, Michael J. Queensland, and the Sergeant at Arms, Tom Engels, 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 Annette Kingsland Ziegler, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In the Chair
Senate President Kapenga in the chair.
Remarks of President Kapenga
“As Senate President, I want to thank the members for allowing me the privilege of being in the chair again.
As we begin the 2023-24 session of the Wisconsin State Senate, and look forward to what will be accomplished, I thought it would be prudent to take a look back at why this body was created, and what our purpose is while temporarily serving in this role.
It goes back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. We can see the discussion of the Senate in Federalist 62. One house would be, in the words of Virginia’s George Mason, the “grand depository of the democratic principle of government.” This is the Wisconsin State Assembly.
To counter this popular influence, James Madison of Virginia proposed another house that would be small, deliberative, and independent from the larger, more democratic house. It would be a body “requiring greater extent of information and stability of character”. This is the Wisconsin State Senate.
Madison’s concern was that proposed legislation would come from the larger house in an emotional state, and the Senate would vet that emotion with sound and wise logic to ensure proper checks and balances were being applied.
Note that we, as the Senate, are of equal power to the Assembly. It isn’t about power then, but it is about quality of law that our citizens must abide and live with. The purpose of law is to protect our rights as individual citizens, and nothing more.
So as we move into this session, I look forward to directing vigorous debate as we work together to serve those who elected us to this position. My responsibility is to ensure the voice of the minority is heard and that the will of the majority is carried out.
Thank you for once again allowing me the honor of this position.”
President Kapenga introduced the Senators returning from the 105th Session: Senators Cowles, Taylor, Johnson, Stafsholt, Felzkowski, Ballweg, Agard, Feyen, Stroebel, Wirch, Testin, Roys, Bradley, Wimberger, and Pfaff.
With unanimous consent, Senator LeMahieu addressed the members from the rostrum.
Remarks of Majority Leader LeMahieu
“A new year and a new legislative session brings with it opportunity. Opportunities to work together to address issues that are faced by all Wisconsinites. An opportunity to build common sense policy that improves how our government functions. Opportunities to reform our laws to better serve the future needs of the State.
Let’s focus for a moment on what we have done in the past to put Wisconsin in the unique position that we are in today. In 2010 we inherited a multi-Billion dollar deficit. Over the last 12 years we have focused on investing in core priorities, responsible budgeting, reducing the tax burden on the hard-working families of Wisconsin and passing meaningful legislative reforms. Today we are looking at a projected surplus approaching 7 Billion.
There are challenges that we face. Challenges the people of Wisconsin expect us to tackle. Education, taxes, healthcare, public safety and our State’s infrastructure are all items that we need to address. Families and businesses are facing inflationary pressures. The rising costs of gas, groceries and energy are hurting Wisconsin families. The best way to help them out is by reducing their tax burden.
We have a chance to reshape our tax policies. We can also take this opportunity to streamline and simplify interactions with State agencies. We look forward to finding solutions to difficult topics such as the mental health issues being faced by all too many of our friends and neighbors. We are in a good position to take bold and decisive action to ensure our best days remain ahead of us.
Last session we passed a budget that was supported by both sides of the aisle and signed by the Governor. Let’s work toward that again. As we go through the budget process, we need to understand inflationary pressures. This includes local governments, education, transportation, corrections and healthcare. Fortunately, we have set ourselves up with resources to address these needs.
We need to remember why we are in our current position. We have worked on legislation to advance the best interest of Wisconsin while remaining fiscally conservative. We look forward to working with the Governor and Assembly to make sure that we not only provide transformational tax relief, but also solutions that benefit the great state of Wisconsin.
God bless Wisconsin and God bless America.”
With unanimous consent, Senator Agard addressed the members from the rostrum.
Remarks of Minority Leader Agard
“Mr. President, friends, and colleagues. I am honored to join you here today as we begin a new legislative session.
I want to welcome our new and returning members as well as their families. Welcome to our guests watching on the floor and in the galleries, and welcome to everyone watching at home on Wisconsin Eye.
So before I get started, I need to give a special shout out to my four boys: Devin, Bailey, Keanan, and Trystan - thank you for being you. I often say you’re as different as the four points of a compass and that’s what makes you so unique. I’m so proud to be your mom.
The beginning of each legislative session is the most hopeful time of our two-year cycle. We are here today with optimism in our hearts and a willingness in our spirit to do great things.
Like me, I’m sure you all knocked on a lot of doors during the recent election. And I’m sure you heard the same things I did. While we may put up political lines around our districts - the people of Wisconsin are one. They share the same values, hopes, and dreams whether they live in Superior or Elkhorn. Ellsworth or Oconto.
At the end of the day, Wisconsinites generally want the same things out of their state government - affordable health care and prescriptions, housing that doesn’t break the bank, clean air and water, the ability to live with purpose and with the freedoms we expect as Americans.
Now a common theme I heard on doorsteps across Wisconsin were frustrations over the state of our politics and how divided we’ve become.
They want us to stop arguing, stop the partisanship, and instead - focus on getting things done.
My Senate Democratic colleagues and I are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Make no mistake, we will hold true to our values but we are genuine in our interest in creating a better discourse.
We do this with a sense of duty, a sense of hope, and with an eye to the future of our state.
We are privileged to hold these positions. They are positions of consequence and possibility.
History will remember the policies we undertake that create long-term investments for our state.
History will remember our hard work toward sustainable improvements in people’s lives.
History, however, will not remember the cheap politics of the moment.
I am hopeful we can rise above our divisive times and strive to be better.
With Governor Evers' re-election, I am hopeful we can work together in pursuit of the commonsense policies the people across our state voted for when they elected him to a 2nd term with an even larger margin than 2018: strong public schools, strengthening our democracy, continuing to invest in our transportation infrastructure, and supporting our local units of government.
These are not Democratic values or Republican values. Just Wisconsin values.
Let us all aim to make this session one that is remembered for the positive work we do for the people. And for building a better way of doing things as colleagues.
Thank you, Mr. President.”
Report of Committees