This is the preview version of the Wisconsin State Legislature site.
Please see for the production version.
The index consists of the following elements:
Subject heads. Words or phrases that appear in bold capital letters followed in some cases by a list of subdivisions (subheads) and in all cases by lines of text directing the user to specific statutory units (entries and subentries). The subject heads are the main organizational units of the index. The subject heads are terms that have been selected to identify the major categories of information that appear in the Wisconsin Statutes and under which related material is grouped in the Index to provide user access.
Entry terms. Words or phrases that appear in bold capital letters that are followed only by one or more cross-references to subject heads.
Subheads. Words or phrases that appear in bold and initial capital letters. Subheads are used to divide large subject heads that are made up of two or more distinct groups of related information. A list of all subheads under a subject head immediately follows the subject head.
Entries. Lines of text that appear in plain text under subject heads or subheads. Entries summarize the main idea(s) of a statutory unit and direct the user to the specific statutory unit that contains that information. An entry may be followed by a list of subentries.
Subentries. Lines of text that appear in plain text indented under an entry. Subentries are used when there are distinct subparts to the information summarized by an entry that appear in more than one statute section. If necessary, subentries of subentries (two indents) are used. Further subdivision of entries is not used.
Cross-references. Italicized “see” or “see also” followed by a reference to a subject head, subject head and subhead, or an entry under the same subject head. The cross-reference directs the user from a location where certain information does not appear in the Index to where it does appear. Cross-references appear directly following subject heads, subheads, and entry terms and in text following entries.
Scope notes. A sentence or group of sentences appearing in italics following a subject head or subhead preceded by “Note:”. A scope note explains the extent of the coverage of the subject head or subhead.
Below is an example from the index showing the various elements:
criminal code subject head CRIMINAL CODE   Subject Head
Generally, Chs. 939 to 951   General reference
Note: Included under this head is an analysis of the   Scope Note
provisions included by the legislature in the Criminal
Code, and closely related material. Statutes whose
violation may result in criminal penalties, but that are not
included in the Criminal Code, are indexed according to
their general subject matter. For non-Criminal Code
penalty provisions, see Penalties and Fines.
Conviction:   Entry
Limitation on number, 939.71   Subentry
Necessary before penalty, 939.73   Subentry
Crime, defined, 939.12   Entry
Criminal procedure, see Criminal Procedure   Cross-Reference
The index includes the following aids that may be of special help to the user:
Table of Subject Heads. The Table of Subject Heads preceding the index contains an alphabetical list of all subject heads under which entries may be found. Entry terms under which only cross-references are listed are not included in this table.
Table of Words and Phrases. The Table of Words and Phrases contains an alphabetical list of terms defined in the statutes, together with citations to the statute units containing those definitions.
Popular Names and Titles of Laws subject head. To find a law that is known by a popular name or has a title given by the legislature, e.g., Bridefare or the Controlled Substances Act, refer to the list under the subject head Popular Names and Titles of Laws. This is not a complete list of names that laws may be referred to by the public.
Constitution Index. A subject matter index for the Wisconsin Constitution is contained in the general index under the subject head “Constitution, Wisconsin” and is also printed as a separate index in Volume 1, immediately following the Wisconsin Constitution. References to the constitution are also found throughout the general index according to the subject matter of the particular provision.