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Legislature meets for the first time since recalls

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The interior of the Wisconsin State Senate.
The interior of the Wisconsin State Senate.

MADISON (WSAU) Wisconsin legislators are off to a slow start in their fall session. A number of bills have had public hearings, but both houses only plan to meet once this month. That’s Tuesday, and don’t expect much from it. The Assembly has a light agenda which includes a bill to return Wisconsin’s presidential primary to April from mid-February. The Senate plans to swear-in its two new members who’ve already taken office after defeating incumbents in recall elections last month. But the Senate has no bills on its agenda.

And both houses don’t expect to do much until October.

Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald said his members were busy campaigning for colleagues who faced recall votes. And they had to re-organize after its majority was cut from five members to just one. But Fitzgerald says they’re making progress behind the scenes on measures to create jobs – provide venture capital for new high-tech companies – and to speed up the process of starting a new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties. Meanwhile in the Assembly, Republican Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said he’ll keep his house on track to pass measures which help the economy. He promised to avoid the social and hot-button issues that sparked partisan battles earlier in the year. But some G-O-P members are pushing for things like limits on abortion – an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigrants – and a ban on medical research using fetal tissues.

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