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  • 2011 legislative leadership and committee appointments announced

    Tom Solberg

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    Dec. 22, 2010 – The sweeping gains scored by Republicans in the fall elections mean that both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature and all legislative committees will have a fresh set of leaders when the new session gets under way next month.

    The GOP gained a 19-14 majority in the Wisconsin Senate and elected the following leaders:

    • President – Michael Ellis;
    • President Pro Temp – Joe Leibham;
    • Majority Leader – Scott Fitzgerald; and
    • Asst. Majority Leader – Glenn Grothman.

    Senate Democrats selected Mark Miller and Dave Hansen to serve as Minority Leader and Asst. Minority Leader, respectively.

    Republicans also gained a majority in the Assembly, where they hold a 60-38-1 edge, and named the following leaders:

    • Speaker – Jeff Fitzgerald;
    • Speaker Pro Temp – Bill Kramer;
    • Majority Leader – Scott Gunderson; and
    • Asst. Majority Leader – Don Knodl.

    Peter Barca was elected Minority Leader by his colleagues and Donna Seidel will be the new Asst. Minority Leader in the Assembly.

    Committee leaders

    Dominance of both legislative houses also means that the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance, which plays a central role in development of the biennial state budget, will both be Republicans. Alberta Darling will be the Senate co-chair and Robin Vos will be the Assembly co-chair. Luther Olsen will serve as Senate vice-chair and Mark Gottlieb will be Assembly vice-chair. Overall, Republicans will hold twelve seats on the committee and the Democrats will fill four.

    Senate Committee leadership appointments are:

    • Economic Development, Veterans and Military Affairs: Randy Hopper
    • Education: Luther Olsen
    • Energy, Biotechnology and Consumer Protection: Rob Cowles
    • Financial Institutions and Rural Issues: Dale Schultz
    • Health: Leah Vukmir
    • Insurance and Housing: Frank Lasee
    • Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce and Government Operations: Rich Zipperer
    • Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs: Van Wanggaard
    • Natural Resources and Environment: Neil Kedzie
    • Public Health, Human Services and Revenue: Pam Galloway
    • State and Federal Relations, Information Technology: Shelia Harsdorf
    • Transportation and Elections: Mary Lazich
    • Workforce Development, Small Business and Tourism: Terry Moulton

    On the Assembly side, the following committee chairs have been named:

    • Aging and Long Term Care: Dan Knodl
    • Agriculture: Lee Nerison
    • Children and Families: Don Pridemore
    • Colleges and Universities: Steve Nass
    • Consumer Protection and Personal Privacy: Keith Ripp
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections: Joel Kleefisch
    • Education: Steve Kestell
    • Election and Campaign Reform: Gary Tauchen
    • Energy and Utilities: Mark Honadel
    • Financial Institutions: Bill Kramer
    • Forestry: Jeff Mursau
    • Health: Jeff Stone
    • Homeland Security and State Affairs: Karl VanRoy
    • Housing: John Murtha
    • Insurance: Kevin Petersen
    • Jobs, Economy and Small Business: Mary Williams
    • Judiciary and Ethics: Jim Ott
    • Labor and Workforce Development: Joan Ballweg
    • Natural Resources: Scott Gunderson
    • Public Health and Public Safety: Gary Bies
    • Rules: Scott Suder
    • Rural Economic Development and Rural Affairs: Al Ott
    • Tourism, Recreation and State Properties: Dean Kaufert
    • Transportation: Jerry Petrowski
    • Urban and Local Affairs: Ed Brooks
    • Veterans and Military Affairs: Richard Spanbauer
    • Ways and Means: Mike Huebsch

    A full list of 2011-12 Senate and Assembly members is available here. The State Bar’s Government Relations Team will monitor development of the budget and other legislative activities of interest to the State Bar.

    Related article:

    2010 elections dramatically reshape state’s political landscape – Nov. 10, 2010


    Rotunda Report is the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Government Relations e-newsletter that highlights legislative, judicial, and administrative developments that impact the legal profession and the justice system. It is published twice a month and is distributed free to attorneys, public officials and others who help shape public policy in Wisconsin. We invite your org pubaffairs wisbar suggestions to make the Rotunda Report more informative and useful and we encourage you to visit our Web site for the most current information about justice-related issues.

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