Wisconsin state Senate

Justin W. Kern

The two votes fell along party lines, with majority Republicans prevailing. Their overhaul of Wisconsin's century-old civil service system would, among other changes, eliminate hiring exams for applicants and protections for more experienced workers, create merit bonuses and centralize hiring decisions within the governor's Dept. of Administration.

Supporters insist Wisconsin must have more flexibility to quickly hire, promote and fire public workers. Opponents claim the change will open the door to cronyism.

GOP senators have elected New Berlin's Mary Lazich as president of the state Senate - the first woman to hold the position.

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The state Senate voted 30 to 2 Tuesday, to advance bill making a chemotherapy pill less expensive, despite earlier tactics to block a vote.

Justin W. Kern

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald doubts his colleagues will pass several pieces of high-profile legislation, in early 2014.

There could be quite a few new faces in the Wisconsin Senate following the 2014 elections.