Assembly leaders from both parties have agreed to end overnight sessions and limit the amount of time they spend debating. It was a rare bipartisan accord in a chamber that was marked by raucous, sometimes personal debates last session.
As representatives from both parties took turns congratulating themselves for setting a new tone in the State Assembly, Baraboo Democrat Fred Clark jokingly summed up the mood.
"A lot of nice things have been said, and my hope Mr. Speaker is that at the end of this session, if there's room in this chamber, we can all circle around and hold hands and maybe sing a song," he says. "But I like the feeling here."
Perhaps the biggest agreement between party leaders was to "finish debate at a reasonable time". Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it was in direct response to the many overnight debates last session.
"Last time we had far too many sessions that went late into the evening," he says. "We had some that went multiple days. And I think once again, Republicans and Democrats can agree that when you are in for multiple days, you are having a tendency to not maybe make all of the best decisions."
Vos reached the agreement with Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca, who had a message for the Assembly's newest members.
"Last session, was the most rancorous maybe ever," he says. "We have 25 new members, that's a quarter of the body. We have over 25 people who are returning from their first term and I hope you have amnesia."
The agreement was not actually voted on in the Assembly. It's a "Memorandum of Understanding" signed by Vos, Barca and the rest of the Assembly Republican and Democratic leadership teams. The memorandum is vague and open to interpretation--there's no hard curfew. But on the first day it was in place, time limits were enforced on speakers by a large stopwatch. Today at least, debate lasted just three hours and the Assembly was done by early afternoon.