Wisconsin Senate begins new session

Wisconsin Senate begins new session

The state Senate has started its latest two-year session by swearing in more than a dozen senators and approving new officers.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack on Monday administered the oath of office to 16 senators who won election in November, including two Republican freshmen and one Democratic freshman.

Republicans go into the session with an 18-15 advantage in the chamber. The body unanimously approved Republican Scott Fitzgerald as majority leader, Republican Mike Ellis as Senate president and Democrat Chris Larson as minority leader.

Fitzgerald gave a short speech promising to overhaul Wisconsin’s mining regulations, saying the move would create jobs.

Larson sniped at Republicans in his own speech, blasting the GOP for failing to create enough jobs over the last session and making deep cuts to public schools.