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Democrats say there isn't much focus on jobs as special session begins

Democrats say there isn't much focus on jobs as special session begins

By Jon Byman & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Oct 18, 2011 - UPDATED: Oct 18, 2011

MADISON - State lawmakers Tuesday are supposed to back in a special jobs session called by Governor Walker.  But Democrats say there's not much in the way of jobs legislation on the calendar. 

"It's just surprising that there are virtually no jobs bills on the calendar at all," Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said. 

He claims that the session appears to lack urgency when it comes to jobs. 

Senate Democrat Dave Hansen says, "It truly is about jobs, jobs, jobs," and while GOP leader Scott Suder says, "What we're trying to do is create a more business friendly environment."

TODAY'S TMJ4's Lacey Crisp reports both sides gave their rally cry to create more jobs in the state, before blaming the other side.

Republican Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald says, "We are hopeful the other side will join us to pass bills."

While Sen. Dave Hansen responded with "Since the Governor took office and since Republicans have taken over the legislature, we have seen our unemployment rate climb from 7.4% to nearly 8%."

Governor Walker argues he has helped the state gain jobs, and says this special session he called, will be productive because he has chosen 26 bills authored by both parties.

"You have a few people who are cynical about the process. You have a number of bills that Democrats authored are coming up," said Walker.

The legislature will be going in and out of the special jobs session to regular session.

Representative Suder said, "We're not only focused on the special session, our main focus is on jobs.  We are also going after other issues."

Senator Hansen countered by saying, "For them to be heading off on all kinds of different directions, the emphasis, the laser should be right there on jobs."

The Assembly will take up things like declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness month, getting rid of something called the World Dairy Center Authority and changing display requirements in regards to fertilizer.