MADISON (WKOW) — Next year, lawmakers will return for a new legislative session and some are anticipating more tension than ever before after Wisconsin’s lame-duck session made national headlines for what Democrats call a power grab.
It was three weeks ago that lawmakers held an overnight session where Republicans passed three bills later signed by Gov. Scott Walker. Some might say that’s enough time to heal some wounds, however, Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz thinks otherwise.
“Normally (it’s) a time of optimism where we look ahead,” he said. “I don’t think anyone has recovered. I don’t think the public is forgetting what took place.”
The most controversial bill shifts rule-making authorities away from the incoming governor and attorney general, a move Democrats began to call unprecedented. But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he talked to Gov.-elect Tony Evers one-on-one in his office on Wednesday and said he would like to move on.
“I acknowledged that, hey, this is kind of a rough start and he agreed, but I said lets kind of focus on moving forward,” said Fitzgerald.
He’s also wishful there won’t be tension going forward, but Hintz argues the extraordinary session left a sour taste with some voters and Democrats.
“It’s going to make for an interesting start,” he said. “I think it’s pretty toxic and it’s something we haven’t seen before so I think the bridge is pretty charred.”
Both leaders are looking forward to finding common ground on issues like health care, transportation and education. They also agree divided government has to have both sides come together to improve the state.
“Whatever he (Evers) does he’s always going to have the upper hand,” he said. “We don’t have a choice. Republicans are going to have to work closely together and make sure our message is right on the mark.”