Committees appointed by council.
Permanent council committees.
Duties and powers of the joint committee on legislative organization.
Legislative council staff.
Legislative reference bureau.
Legislative audit bureau.
Legislative fiscal bureau.
Legislative technology services bureau.
Number of legislators.
The senate consists of 33 and the assembly of 99 members.
History: 1971 c. 304
The legislature shall meet annually.
The legislature shall convene in the capitol on the first Monday of January in each odd-numbered year, at 2 p.m., to take the oath of office, select officers, and do all other things necessary to organize itself for the conduct of its business, but if the first Monday of January falls on January 1 or 2, the actions here required shall be taken on January 3.
The regular session of the legislature shall commence at 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday after the 8th day of January in each year unless otherwise provided under sub. (3)
Early in each biennial session period, the joint committee on legislative organization shall meet and develop a work schedule for the legislative session, which shall include at least one meeting in January of each year, to be submitted to the legislature as a joint resolution.
Any measures introduced in the regular annual session of the odd-numbered year which do not receive final action shall carry over to the regular annual session held in the even-numbered year.
How the legislature meets, when it meets, and what descriptive titles the legislature assigns to those meetings or their operating procedures constitute parts of the legislative process with which the judicial branch has no jurisdiction or right to interfere. League of Women Voters v. Evers, 2019 WI 75
, 387 Wis. 2d 511
, 929 N.W.2d 209
Oaths of members.
The speaker of the assembly, president of the senate, governor, secretary of state, attorney general, any court of record or the clerk thereof, any court of appeals judge or any justice of the supreme court may administer the oath of office to the members and officers of the legislature. The oath shall be filed with the secretary of state.
History: 1977 c. 187
Designation of members.
Members of the assembly shall be known as “representatives to the assembly".
Legislators' eligibility to other civil office. 13.04(1)(1)
No member of the legislature shall, during the term for which the legislator was elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office in this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the term for which the legislator was elected.
Any former member of the legislature may, after expiration of the term for which the former member was elected to the legislature, be appointed or elected to any judicial office or state civil office or position and shall, if so appointed or elected, be entitled to the full compensation, expense reimbursement or other emoluments established by law for such office or position.
Any incumbent member of the legislature may, during the term for which the member was elected to the legislature, seek election to any judicial office or state elective office for a term commencing upon the expiration of the member's current legislative term and shall, if so elected, upon the commencement of the new term be entitled to the full compensation, expense reimbursement or other emoluments for such office or position established by law as of the date on which the term begins.
Any incumbent member of the legislature who, during the term for which the member was elected to the legislature, by appointment or election assumes any judicial office or state civil office or position for which the compensation or other emoluments were increased during the member's current legislative term by legislative action, or by any other official action requiring the assent of or subject to veto by the legislature, shall be entitled to the compensation or other emoluments for such office or position only at the rate in effect prior to such increase.
Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the concurrent appointment of an incumbent legislator to an unsalaried part-time state position created during the legislator's current legislative term when the emoluments for such position are limited to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of the position and when the duties of such position are not incompatible with the legislator's duties as a member of the legislature.
No member of the legislature may hold office as a legislator concurrent with holding office as a county executive for more than 60 days following certification of the election for either office.
Any member of the legislature who gives, offers or promises to give his or her vote or influence in favor of or against any measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in the legislature in consideration or upon condition that any other person elected to the same legislature will give or will promise or agree to give his or her vote or influence in favor of or against any other measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in such legislature, or who gives, offers or promises to give his or her vote or influence for or against any measure on condition that any other member will give his or her vote or influence in favor of any change in any other bill pending or proposed to be introduced in the legislature, is guilty of a Class I felony.
Any member of the legislature who gives, offers or promises to give his or her vote or influence in favor of or against any measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in the legislature, or that has already been passed by either house of the legislature, in consideration of or on condition that the governor approve, disapprove, veto or sign, or agree to approve, disapprove, veto or sign, any other measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced in the legislature or that has already been passed by the legislature, or either house thereof, or in consideration or upon condition that the governor nominate for appointment or appoint or remove any person to or from any office or position under the laws of this state, is guilty of a Class I felony.
Freedom of debate confirmed.
Nothing in ss. 13.05
shall be construed as prohibiting free discussion and deliberation upon any question pending before the legislature by members thereof, privately or publicly, nor as prohibiting agreements by members to support any single measure pending, on condition that certain changes be made in such measure, nor as prohibiting agreements to compromise conflicting provisions of different measures.
Mileage allowance. 13.08(1)(1)
The chief clerk of each house, immediately after the commencement of each regular or special session of the legislature, shall certify to the department of administration the names of all qualified members and the number of miles for which each member is entitled to be reimbursed. All such certificates shall be approved by the presiding officer.
All members of the legislature shall be entitled to an allowance for transportation expenses incurred in going to and returning from the state capitol once every week during any legislative session, at the same rate per mile for each mile traveled in going to and returning from the state capitol on the most usual route as is provided for transportation for state officers and employees under s. 20.916
. Such allowances shall be paid monthly upon presentation to the department of administration of a verified written statement containing such information as the department requires.
Any member of the legislature may use any convenient public transportation and be reimbursed in full for not to exceed one round trip weekly actually traveled via such transportation.
History: 1971 c. 13
Bills increasing certain tax rates. 13.085(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, no house of the legislature may pass a bill that increases the rate of the state sales tax or that increases any of the rates of the income tax or franchise tax unless the bill is approved by two-thirds of those members present and voting.
shall not apply if the legislature passes a joint resolution requiring a statewide advisory referendum on the question of whether the legislature should authorize the tax increase provided in the bill and a majority of voters voting at the referendum vote to approve the tax increase.
History: 2011 a. 9
Joint committee on finance. 13.09(1)(1)
There is created a joint standing committee, to be known as the joint committee on finance, consisting of 8 senators and 8 representatives to the assembly appointed as are the members of standing committees in their respective houses.
The committee may inquire into the operations or activities of any agency, department, board, institution or commission of the state, to determine better methods, systems or procedures for improving state government operations.
Within one week after the general election in November of those years in which gubernatorial election is held, if the incumbent governor is not reelected, the committee shall convene and approve a budget for the newly elected governor to enable the incoming governor to review and analyze the budget, to hire staff and obtain space, and to do such other tasks as the committee approves. Funds approved by the committee shall be released to the office of the governor from the appropriation under s. 20.525 (1) (a)
and any staff employed or expenses incurred by the incoming governor shall be charged to that appropriation. Employees of the incoming governor shall be placed on the payroll of the office of the governor. The procedures under s. 13.10
do not apply to this subsection.
The joint committee on finance shall maintain its offices and meeting room on the 4th floor of the east wing of the capitol.
History: 1971 c. 125
; 1975 c. 224
; 1977 c. 325
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 3
; 1983 a. 83
; 1983 a. 308
; 1985 a. 2
; 1987 a. 4
; 1989 a. 31
; 2013 a. 20
The Joint Committee on Finance has no authority to set aside a collective bargaining agreement between the regents and the teaching assistants association. 59 Atty. Gen. 200.
The one man-one vote principle is inapplicable to legislative committees since that principle applies only to the exercise of legislative powers and those powers cannot constitutionally be delegated to these committees. There has been no unconstitutional delegation to the joint committee on finance. 63 Atty. Gen. 173.
Nonpartisanship is not a requirement of the committee clerk position, and the clerk does not work for a nonpartisan agency or perform nonpartisan budgetary or policy analysis. Nevertheless, given the nature of the clerk's responsibilities, a decision maker could reasonably consider an applicant's history of partisan activity. However, an applicant's political affiliation and the applicant's history of partisan activities are two distinct considerations. Albers-Anders v. Pocan, 905 F. Supp. 2d 944
Reference of bills to joint committee on finance. 13.093(1)(1)
All bills introduced in either house of the legislature for the appropriation of money, providing for revenue or relating to taxation shall be referred to the joint committee on finance before being passed.
Any bill making an appropriation, any bill increasing or decreasing existing appropriations or state or general local government fiscal liability or revenues, and any bill that modifies an existing surcharge or creates a new surcharge that is imposed under ch. 814
, shall, before any vote is taken thereon by either house of the legislature if the bill is not referred to a standing committee, or before any public hearing is held before any standing committee or, if no public hearing is held, before any vote is taken by the committee, incorporate a reliable estimate of the anticipated change in appropriation authority or state or general local government fiscal liability or revenues under the bill, including to the extent possible a projection of such changes in future biennia. The estimate shall also indicate whether any increased costs incurred by the state under the bill can be mitigated through the use of contractual service contracts let in accordance with competitive procedures. For purposes of this paragraph, a bill increasing or decreasing the liability or revenues of the unemployment reserve fund is considered to increase or decrease state fiscal liability or revenues. Except as otherwise provided by joint rules of the legislature or this paragraph, such estimates shall be made by the department or agency administering the appropriation or fund or collecting the revenue. The legislative council staff shall prepare the fiscal estimate with respect to the provisions of any bill referred to the joint survey committee on retirement systems which create or modify any system for, or make any provision for, the retirement of or payment of pensions to public officers or employees. The director of state courts shall prepare the fiscal estimate with respect to the provisions of any bill that modifies an existing surcharge or creates a new surcharge that is imposed under ch. 814
. When a fiscal estimate is prepared after the bill has been introduced, it shall be printed and distributed as are amendments.
Executive budget bills introduced under s. 16.47 (1)
are exempt from the fiscal estimate requirement under par. (a)
but shall, if they contain a provision affecting a public retirement fund or providing a tax exemption, be analyzed as to those provisions by the respective joint survey committee. If such a bill contains a provision providing a tax exemption, the bill shall be simultaneously referred to the joint survey committee on tax exemptions and the joint committee on finance. The report of the joint survey committee on tax exemptions shall be prepared within 60 days of introduction for bills introduced under s. 16.47 (1)
Review of programs started with federal aid.
State agencies responsible for the administration of federal contract or grant-in-aid programs shall promptly notify the federal aid management service of the department of administration whenever any program or project, financed wholly or partially from federal aids, would have to be continued from state funds because federal aid will be or has been curtailed or withdrawn or because the federal program from which the aid was received has or will be expired. The federal aid management service under s. 16.545
shall promptly notify the joint committee on finance of all notifications received from state agencies. The cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance may thereupon schedule a public hearing for the purpose of exploring alternatives with regard to the future in this state of the program for which federal aid will be or has been reduced or eliminated. The chief executive officer of the department or independent agency administering such program shall appear at the hearing for the information of the joint committee. The joint committee shall submit its recommendations including suggested legislation to the legislature.
Review of bills establishing vehicle weight limit exceptions. 13.096(1)(1)
In this section, “department" means the department of transportation.
(2) Report on bills establishing vehicle weight limit exceptions. 13.096(2)(a)(a)
If any bill that is introduced in either house of the legislature directly or indirectly establishes an exception to the vehicle weight limits specified in ch. 348
, the department shall prepare a report on the bill within 6 weeks after it is introduced. The department shall request information from any individual, organization or local government that the department considers likely to be affected by the proposed vehicle weight limit exceptions. Individuals, organizations and local governments shall comply with requests by the department for information that is reasonably necessary for the department to prepare the report. To the greatest extent possible, reports under this section shall be based on the information obtained by the department from individuals, organizations and local governments under this paragraph.
A bill that requires a report by the department under this section shall have that requirement noted on its jacket when the jacket is prepared. When a bill that requires a report under this section is introduced, the legislative reference bureau shall submit a copy of the bill to the department.
The report prepared under this section shall be printed as an appendix to that applicable bill and shall be distributed in the same manner as amendments. The report shall be distributed before any vote is taken on the bill by either house of the legislature if the bill is not referred to a standing committee, or before any public hearing is held before any standing committee or, if no public hearing is held, before any vote is taken by the committee.
(3) Findings of the department to be contained in the report.
The report of the department shall contain the following information with respect to each exception to a vehicle weight limit specified in ch. 348
A statement of the problem addressed by the proposed vehicle weight limit exception, including all of the following:
Whether the current vehicle weight limit creates a hardship and, if so, the degree of the hardship.
The costs associated with complying with the current vehicle weight limit and any anticipated savings likely to result from the proposed vehicle weight limit exception.
Whether any other efforts have been made to resolve the problem addressed by the proposed vehicle weight limit exception.
The degree of control by motor carriers over the weight and weight distribution of the vehicle or load.
A description of the proposed vehicle weight limit exception, including any changes on all of the following:
Gross weight limitations and gross axle and axle combination weight limitations.
Any highway, highway route or area of the state substantially affected by the proposed vehicle weight limit exception.
Any other special considerations concerning the proposed vehicle weight limit exception, such as the frequency of use of the proposed exception, the support and involvement of businesses, industries and local authorities affected by the proposed exception.
(4) Rule-making authority.
The department may promulgate any rules necessary for the administration of this section.
History: 1993 a. 282
Review of bills proposing revocation of an operating privilege.
If any bill that is introduced in either house of the legislature proposes to revoke a person's operating privilege upon conviction of that person for any offense, the department of transportation shall, within 4 weeks after the bill is introduced, prepare a report that states whether the bill is consistent with a policy of revoking an operating privilege only for traffic violations that are likely to result in death, personal injury or serious property damage. The report shall be printed as an appendix to the bill and shall be distributed in the same manner as amendments. The report shall be distributed before any vote is taken on the bill by either house of the legislature if the bill is not referred to a standing committee, or before any public hearing is held before any standing committee or, if no public hearing is held, before any vote is taken by the committee. A bill that requires a report by the department of transportation under this section shall have that requirement noted on its jacket when the jacket is prepared. When a bill that requires a report under this section is introduced, the legislative reference bureau shall submit a copy of the bill to the department of transportation.
History: 1997 a. 84
Review of bills or amendments establishing health insurance mandates. 13.0966(1)(1)
In this section, “office” means the office of the commissioner of insurance.