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Assembly speaker Vos urges focus on bipartisan future in Madison


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Assembly’s new speaker has told his Republican colleagues to focus on a more cooperative future, after a tense and polarized session over the past two years.

Robin Vos – a conservative hardliner – vowed to set a new tone, and work together with minority Democrats.

The Racine County lawmaker was elected Tuesday as the new speaker.

Vos outlined an aggressive agenda that includes income tax cuts, education reforms, and incentives for mining. And he told fellow Republicans to try and listen to all of Wisconsin. He said a single party or chamber does not have a monopoly on good ideas.

But Vos and his fellow Republicans also took a dig at Senate Democrats. They cheered loudly when they learned during their caucus that first-term Milwaukee Democrat Chris Larson was elected as the Senate’s minority leader.

Vos told his colleagues, “Sometimes, God gives you a gift.” Larson wouldn’t respond and said, “I do believe we can find a way to work together.”

Larson is the Senate’s biggest critics of Republican Governor Scott Walker. After last week’s elections, Larson lamented the Republicans’ return to power in the Senate, saying they treated Democrats like, “pieces of furniture” in the last session.

When the new session begins, Republicans will control the Senate 18 to 15, and the Assembly 60 to 39.