MADISON (WSAU) The Wisconsin Senate will meet briefly today, so Republicans can hand over control to the Democrats – for a few months, if not longer. The Democrats now have a 17-16 majority, after Racine Republican Van Wanggaard was recalled last month. His replacement, John Lehman, was sworn in yesterday after a recount confirmed that he won his June 5th election.
For now, Madison Democrat Fred Risser will become the Senate’s president. And Milwaukee’s Tim Carpenter will be the president pro tem. Not much is on the Legislature’s agenda until after November, when half the Senate’s 33 seats are up for election. Democrats hope to build momentum by then, to try and keep control of the upper house. But it won’t be easy, because Republicans used their control this past session to draw new Assembly and Senate districts loaded with more traditional G-O-P voters.