Assembly Speaker Robin Vos looks back on 2019

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told NBC15 News that a year ago, when Wisconsinites woke up after the 2018 election and saw that current Gov. Tony Evers would take over for former Gov. Scott Walker, there were concerns over what would happen.

Speaker Robin Vos (R- Rochester)

"We made a decision as assembly Republicans to say 'where is there common ground?'" Speaker Vos said.

Speaker Vos said that even though many people looked at the state’s government as divided, legislators found a way to get things done.

"So we did our three speaker task forces that were started last summer; one on suicide prevention, another on clean water and another on increasing adoptions," Speaker Vos said.

He said Gov. Evers even signed a conservative budget into law, sooner than when former Gov. Scott Walker was in office.

However, there were some major issues that divided legislators.

“I was disappointed because Gov. Evers called me and said he wanted to do a special session on gun control, I said ‘I think that's a mistake,’" Speaker Vos said.

In November, tension between the two parties snapped when Evers called the session to pass the universal background check and "red flag" bill; it resulted in two quickly adjourned special sessions in the State Senate and Assembly, no vote and arguing between lawmakers.

"So I hope that's a lesson for him to learn, that rather than trying to find issues that drive us apart, how about we focus on ones that bring us together and I hope that's what occurs over the next couple months until we finish at the end of February," Speaker Vos said.

Speaker Vos also said the assembly has a full plate and hopes to get some important bills to the senate early next year.

Some of those include waiting on Senate approval for the suicide prevention bill.

"And then the first week of January, we're going to announce an entire package of bills on clean water, and we'll be able to hopefully advocate for those bills to be passed before we adjourn in February, so there's a lot for us to do," Vos says.

Speaker Vos said legislators also hope to come out with a series of bills in January, addressing what he calls "the revolving door" of crime.