Fresh Legislature Sworn In
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
MADISON--It's a chance to start fresh for Wisconsin lawmakers after two years of bitter political battles in Madison.
Monday new legislators were sworn-in at the capitol. State assembly and senate leaders say they want to cooperate more in 2013.
Republicans enter the session at the state capitol controlling the governor's office, the state senate, and the assembly.
But some in the assembly and senate start the session purple, instead of red or blue.
"I think that says we have a need to be cooperative and collaborate together and show fairness, balance and respect for everybody in the state," Democratic Senator Dave Hansen said. "We shouldn't be about the top 2%. It's about dealing with everybody and doing what we can to make our state the best place for everybody."
Handshakes across the aisle promise just that.
"Out of the polarized climate we had with the recalls now there's going to be greater opportunity for people to work together," Republican Representative Andre Jacque said. "I think you're going to see bipartisan leadership on some of those issues."
Republicans could pass just about anything. They hold a 59-39 majority in the assembly--and a slimmer 18-15 majority in the senate.
"Part of me is optimistic we're going to have bipartisan cooperation. Part of me is cynical you know, why would it be any different than two years ago," political analyst Michael Kraft said.
Kraft isn't holding his breath on proposals being raised that could spark more protests.
"There are big differences between the parties. The governor hasn't changed his position on many issues, so time will tell," Kraft said.
Look for a mining bill to come up soon. The last mining legislation failed. That's when democrats controlled the state senate. A vote could come as early as March.