The state Senate on Wednesday completed its work on a special jobs session. The two bills on the Senate special session calendar were both ostensibly about creating jobs but debate degenerated into finger-pointing at times. Stevens Point Democrat Julie Lassa said the Republican jobs agenda does nothing for the state’s hard pressed middle class and unemployed. “When are we finally going to get to them, and get to their agenda, and that’s creating good paying, family supporting jobs in the state of Wisconsin? When are they going to become a priority in this body and in the Assembly, and to Governor Walker?”
Lassa’s remarks drew a response from Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “Please, the hypocrisy around here, that somehow the minority party’s going to lecture about we’re not doing enough? I’ve got a little bit of institutional knowledge, and I know exactly how it went down last session,” Fitzgerald said, adding that Democrats in control of the legislature last session did little to help create jobs. The bills, lowering the interest on lawsuit judgments to the prime rate plus one percent (SB 14), and reducing the liability of property owners for trespasser injuries or deaths (SB 22), now go to the Assembly.
Milwaukee Democrat Chris Larson said he didn’t understand how the jobs measure will create jobs. The bill’s author is Wausau Republican Pam Galloway. “As I’ve traveled the district one of the biggest costs that businesses have is liability costs. These can be controlled with this bill,” Galloway said, adding that would help “create a business friendly environment so that businesses can create jobs.” The measure passed on a voice vote. The bill lowering the interest rates on lawsuit judgments passed on a 17-to-16 party line split.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10)