State Senate Republicans have named their leadership team for the next legislative session. Senator Mike Ellis of Neenah is the longest-serving Republican in the chamber. He’ll serve as Senate President, and he nominated Senator Scott Fitzgerald to once again be Majority Leader. “Probably the best majority leader I’ve ever worked with,” Ellis said.
AUDIO: Mike Ellis (1:30)
Fitzgerald spoke with reporters at Thursday’s caucus meeting. There’s already discussion of income tax cuts due to increased state revenues. Fitzgerald said he doesn’t object, but noted Medicare costs will need to be covered in the coming budget. “We just don’t know what that number is going to be. And I think the governor’s priority would be to make sure that we do the best we can to fund Medicare.” said Fitzgerald. “It will be one of the things that shapes what we do with the new revenue.”
Fitzgerald said he is looking towards a balanced budget with no structural deficit. “I was such a large goal for us last time, and being able to achieve that means a lot to the members, and it means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s got to be the number one priority again, moving forward with whatever the governor introduces in mid-February.”
AUDIO: Scott Fitzgerald Q&A (10:20)
Fitzgerald was unanimously approved as majority leader by his Republican caucus. The GOP will have an 18-15 majority when the new legislative session begins in January. “If we work together and stay together, and keep some of our comments together . . . we will be one powerful force,” said Ellis. “We as strong as we are united.”