New Assembly, Senate session under way

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly has begun its two-year session by inaugurating its members and electing a new speaker.

Republicans control the Assembly 59-39 with one seat vacant in a Republican district. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser administered the oath collectively to all 98 members on Monday. Some Democrats were sworn in earlier in the day at a separate ceremony presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is among the guests who attended the ceremony. He says he came to see his old friend Robin Vos get elected as speaker.

Vos replaces fellow Republican Jeff Fitzgerald. Rep. Scott Suder of Abbotsford is the majority leader and Rep. Peter Barca of Kenosha is Democratic minority leader.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- 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.

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