MADISON (WRN) Displeased over a lack of committee chairmanships, state Senator Tim Cullen has parted ways with his caucus. The Janesville Democrat said Tuesday that he met with new Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller to discuss chairmanships, now that the Democrats have regained – however temporarily – the Senate majority. “I was never asked what I was interested in,” Cullen said. “he told me that he was going to assign me Small Business and Tourism.” Cullen said that while both are important to the state’s economy, neither have ever been considered important committees in the Senate. Cullen wanted Health and Education. Instead, after conversations with Miller broke down over the weekend, he got nothing. As a result of what he considers a snub to the 15th state Senate District, Cullen said he’s no longer a member of the Senate Democratic caucus. “I’m going to spend the next few days and weeks deciding whether to officially change to being an independent,” he said. “At this point I’m not a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. I’m still a member of the Democratic Party. I would not be if I became an independent.”
If Cullen does become an independent, it would erase the Democrats 17-16 majority, although Republican Senator Rich Zipperer will leave the chamber next month to join the Walker administration.