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Democratic-Majority Senate Makes Committee Appointments, Lehman on Joint Finance

Sen. John Lehman's win in the recall election in the 21st District means Democrats have the majority in the Senate and can make key committee appointments friendly to their side of the aisle.

Only about 24 hours after Sen. John Lehman was sworn in, Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Mark Miller announced committee appointments.

Lehman's win in the recall election of the 21st District against Republican Van Wanggaard gives the Democrats control of the state Senate with a 17-16 majority.

According to a release from Miller's office, Lehman will serve as the chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Corrections; vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Disability Rights and Housing Sustainability; and will be a member of the Joint Committee on Finance.

Lehman's office released a statement about the appointments, saying he's ready to get to work.

I am honored by Majority Leader Mark Miller’s decision to appoint me as the Chair of the Education and Corrections Committee. There is no time to wait for fixing the 1.6 billion dollar cuts to our children’s schools and ensuring public safety for our communities.

As Vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, Disability Rights and Housing Sustainability I am ready to work with my colleagues to protect Wisconsin’s most vulnerable and preserve opportunities for all citizens in our state.

I am looking forward to working with my fellow Racine County colleagues Representative Cory Mason, Representative Robin Vos and all the other members on Joint Finance to do what is right for our state and do what is necessary to put an end to the partisan bickering.

Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), who represents residents of Shorewood because of redistricting, will serve as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance with Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

Lehman also made reference in his statement to wanting to get to work creating jobs for the people of Racine County, particularly in the City of Racine.

“We have to refocus on creating jobs in Wisconsin. The City of Racine has the highest unemployment in the state and it is about time we get to work," he wrote.

But according to a story from our media partners at FOX 6 News that backs up what , Democrats are calling for a special session on jobs. Assembly Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald is dismissing the request as "political theater" and cautioned Democrats to not get too comfortable.

“I am confident we will regain the majority this fall, so we can keep Wisconsin moving forward,” Fitzgerald is quoted as saying.

All 99 Assembly seats and 16 of 33 Senate seats are up for grabs in November, which means what party eventually gets control of the Assembly and the Senate remains, well, up for grabs.

GearHead July 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM
His qualification for joint finance was what... Being a player in the last Doyle budget that raised taxes and every fee imaginable by billions? Only to still end up with a 3+ Billion dollar budget hole? Lena Taylor? Heaven help us. Thank goodness there will still be one adult on committee with Robin Vos. Restore billions of dollars to schools? I doubt it. Most school districts have more than recovered those cuts thanks to the tools supplied by Act 10. They are saving millions of dollars. Us taxpayers statewide appreciate it. Mark Miller and Lehman have zero credibility over creating jobs, unless we are talking state government jobs. Mind you, the last Doyle budget planned to ax 10,000 of those, too. Again, thank goodness for Act 10 which saved all of them. Fitz is right. Let's try not to get too carried away with your meaningless victory, John. You'll get tossed off your committees again after the fall elections.
James R Hoffa July 18, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Why is Lehman so concerned with the City of Racine? Bob Wirch represents a majority of the City of Racine, and has since August of last year! Will Lehman ever acknowledge his real district / constituency, or is he only ever interested in appeasing the liberals from the City of Racine that allowed him to get elected? BTW - He never returned my phone call today, despite having left my number on his office's answering machine - apparently, it looks like he's not interested in hearing from his real constituency! Van, or someone from his staff, always returned my phone calls within 24 hours or less!
Bald Eagle July 18, 2012 at 01:19 AM
No suprise James about Lehman never gettong back to you! If you were a union boss though, he'd would have taken the call personally! He also would of had Mason on speaker phone! Nothing but a bought & paid for union hack! Goes for Mason too! Van ALWAYS returned calls! I think someone needs to send Lehman a GPS device so he know's the REAL district he will supposely represent! Not to worry, he'll be gone soon enough.
Dennis July 18, 2012 at 05:42 PM
What a waste of time and money. They want to change offices and move the republicans out of their offices. A person with common sense (not politicians) would know that the entire Senate is going to change again in 3 months. That's alright, lets spend the money to change offices and give the union guys something to do...you know...create jobs. What a bunch of hacks in Madison!
James R Hoffa July 18, 2012 at 07:28 PM
OK, I thought I'd update this, as Hoffa is a fair guy that gives credit where it's due. Today, I received a call back from Lehman's Madison office. They apologized for not getting back to me sooner, citing the transition since the swearing in - fair enough. While John wasn't in Madison, they did give me his home telephone number in Racine and personal cell number - rather unexpected. Perhaps he will be more willing to listen to his new constituents than originally anticipated - only time will tell. Hoffa has not had time yet to contact him at his home, but if I do, I will be sure to update here again.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM
@Hoffa - John Lehman listed his home number as the primary contact for his campaign, too, which I also found surprising.
Sinead July 19, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Let's see, to those of us whose family members have honorably served to protect out country..draft dodging should be a criminal offense. However, it remains an abominal 'piece' of Lehman's lack of integrity, etc.. Wanna bet he would have joined the other dumbocrats in their Run to Illinois? His acceptance as chair of the "Correction Committee" and vice-chair of Children and Families, etc....makes me VERY happy I am no longer practiing social work in Rascine County. Both of those systems are already bungled and watch them 'bungle' further! I see correction(s) as something we NEED to do emphatically come November.
Sinead July 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM
That should read ...protect OUR country...sorry.

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