LEGISLATIVE SERVICE AGENCIES
Legislative organization, joint committee on. 13.80(1)(1)
There is created a joint committee on legislative organization with such powers and authority as are provided by law or by the legislature.
The committee shall consist of the speaker of the assembly, the president of the senate, and the majority and minority leaders and assistant majority and minority leaders of the 2 houses.
The committee shall supervise and make policy for all legislative staff services.
History: 1977 c. 3
; 1979 c. 34
Joint legislative council. 13.81(1)(1)
There is created a joint legislative council of 22 members consisting of the speaker of the assembly and the president of the senate, the speaker pro tempore of the assembly and the president pro tempore of the senate, the senate and assembly majority and minority leaders, the 2 cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance, the ranking minority member of the joint committee on finance from each house, and 5 senators and 5 representatives to the assembly appointed as are the members of standing committees in their respective houses. The speaker of the assembly and the president of the senate, or the designee of each from within the membership of that house on the council, shall serve as cochairpersons of the council. The speaker of the assembly or the president of the senate may decline to serve as member of the joint legislative council and, instead, appoint a replacement member of his or her house to the joint legislative council.
The council upon the call of the cochairpersons, or any committee under s. 13.82
upon the call of the respective chairperson, may meet at any time and place it determines, but when one-third of the total voting membership of the council or of any such committee requests that a meeting be held at a specific time and place, the cochairpersons of the council or the respective chairperson of the committee shall call a meeting for the specific time and place. No committee may meet at a place outside this state without the prior consent of the majority of the officers of the council.
The council shall prepare a biennial report of its activities for the governor and the legislature. The council may issue reports concerning any phase of its work or the work of any of its committees under ss. 13.82
, and shall provide for adequate distribution of such reports. A committee may submit legislation recommended for passage to be introduced in the legislature by the council if a majority of the membership of the council votes to introduce such legislation.
All expenditures for the council shall be by voucher signed either by the cochairpersons or by the director of the council staff.
Reimbursement for special studies.
At the end of each fiscal year, the general fund shall be reimbursed, from any other state fund, the amounts actually expended by the joint legislative council under s. 20.765 (3) (e)
for the cost of making and publishing surveys and analyses of activities and policies related to such funds. The council shall bill such state funds at the end of each fiscal year for the costs so incurred, in accordance with cost records maintained by the council.
Conference on legislative procedures.
Following each general election, the joint legislative council shall sponsor a conference to acquaint new legislators or legislators-elect with legislative procedures. Expenses for the conference shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.765 (3) (e)
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 legislative council. 63 Atty. Gen. 173.
Committees appointed by council.
For the purpose of providing information to the legislature, the joint legislative council may appoint committees consisting of members of the legislature and of citizens having special knowledge on the subject assigned by the council to be studied. Any vacancy on a committee shall be filled by the council. The director of the legislative council staff shall certify to the secretary of state the names of the membership of such committees. Citizen members may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties from the appropriations provided by s. 20.765
Every subject proposed by the legislature for study or investigation during the interim between legislative sessions shall be referred to the council and considered by the appropriate committee of the council. If the council determines that the proposed study or investigation is feasible and is not within a subject already assigned, it shall appoint a committee to conduct such study or investigation. The council, through its committees, may also make such surveys and studies, and compile such data, information and records, on any question, as in its judgment will be beneficial to the general welfare of this state. To this end the council:
Shall maintain liaison with federal, state and local officials and agencies.
May conduct research and secure information or data on any subject concerning the government and general welfare of the state and of its political subdivisions.
Shall make recommendations for legislative or administrative action on any subject or question it has considered and, with the approval of a majority of its membership, submit, for introduction, legislation recommended for passage by one of its committees under this section or s. 13.83
The council or any committee thereof when so authorized by the council may hold public hearings at such times and places within the state as are determined, and make such investigations and surveys as are deemed advisable or necessary to accomplish the purposes and intent of this section. Any member of the council or any legislative member of one of its committees may administer oaths to persons testifying before the council or any committee. By subpoena, issued over the signature of its chairperson or acting chairperson and served in the manner in which circuit court subpoenas are served, the council or any committee when authorized by the council, may summon and compel the attendance of witnesses. If any witness subpoenaed to appear before the council, or any committee thereof, refuses to appear or to answer inquiries propounded, the council or committee shall report the facts to the circuit court for Dane County, and that court shall compel obedience to the subpoena by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from that court or a refusal to testify therein.
Permanent council committees.
The joint legislative council shall in each biennium create the committees enumerated in this section.
Prior to June 1 of each odd-numbered year, the joint legislative council shall appoint a law revision committee consisting of members of the senate and assembly, including at least one member of the majority party and at least one member of the minority party from each house.
The committee shall be assisted by the legislative council staff. The joint legislative council may request staff assistance from other legislative service agencies where appropriate.
Consider decisions and opinions referred to it by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (2) (j)
to determine whether revisions are needed in the statutes or session laws.
Consider minor substantive remedial measures proposed by state agencies to improve the administration of their agencies or proposed by the committee, a standing committee of the legislature or a legislative service agency to improve the language or organization of the statutes or session laws.
Introduce legislation prepared under this paragraph directly into the legislature. Each such proposal shall include a note or series of notes providing an explanation of the proposed changes and an analysis by the legislative reference bureau.
The committee may submit to the joint legislative council recommendations for major law revision projects. In developing the recommendations, the committee shall consider changes in the law suggested by the American law institute, the council of state governments, the U.S. advisory commission on intergovernmental relations, the commission on uniform state laws created under s. 13.55
, legislative committees and service agencies, state agencies, local governments and interested persons. The committee may specify in its recommendations which of the committees or agencies under par. (e)
should undertake the proposed law revision project.
If the joint legislative council approves a major law revision project recommended under par. (d)
, it shall specify which of the following should conduct the project:
The law revision committee or a subcommittee thereof established by the committee for this purpose.
A special or permanent committee appointed by the joint legislative council.
A standing or joint survey or other statutory committee or committees of the legislature.
If the joint legislative council approves a project under par. (e) 1.
, it may appoint one or more public members to a subcommittee established for this purpose by the committee to assist in completing the revision project.
If the joint legislative council approves a project under par. (e) 1.
, it may contract for a consultant or project staff director having expertise in the subject matter of the project and it shall specify the date for the final report of the project to the joint legislative council.
If the joint legislative council approves a project under par. (e) 1.
, it may introduce legislation developed as a result of the project as provided in s. 13.82 (1) (c)
If the joint legislative council approves a project under par. (e) 3.
, it may request the appropriate standing or joint survey or other statutory committee or committees of the legislature or legislative service agency to undertake the project.
Legislation developed as a result of a request under this paragraph to a standing or joint survey or other statutory committee or committees of the legislature may be introduced by that committee.
Serve as a repository for interstate agreements to which this state is or may become a party.
Compile and keep current a list of all interstate agreements having the force of law to which this state or any agency thereof is a party. The list shall cite laws or official documents of this state containing the text of any interstate agreement together with a listing of all other parties to each agreement; the date on which each party entered into the agreement with this state or any agency thereof; the status of each agreement in respect to withdrawals therefrom; and citations to any act or resolution of the congress of the United States consenting to any agreement. In addition, the list shall include the names, addresses and terms of office of the interstate agreement administrators, officials or members of the governing body who represent this state in the administration of each agreement. The list required to be kept under this paragraph also shall include any interstate agreements adopted by this state or any agency thereof but not in effect by reason of the absence of such other parties thereto as may be necessary to make the agreement effective and binding, and all other interstate agreements which are no longer in active operation due to the completion of the purpose for which they were intended but which must be retained in force as a permanent record thereof. Any amendment, supplementary agreement or administrative rule having the force of law which implements or modifies any agreement to which this state or any agency thereof is a party shall be listed in the same manner as the agreement itself.
Supply the legislative reference bureau with the texts of and information relating to the parties to interstate agreements to which this state is a party.
Review existing or proposed interstate agreements and compacts and modifications thereof and make recommendations to the legislature concerning the agreements and compacts and modifications.
Special committee on state-tribal relations. 13.83(3)(a)
The joint legislative council shall, in each biennium, create a special committee on state-tribal relations. The special committee shall study issues related to American Indians and the American Indian tribes and bands in this state and develop specific recommendations and legislative proposals relating to these issues. The special committee shall, from time to time, report its findings and its legislative and other recommendations to the joint legislative council.
The special committee shall be composed of the following:
Not fewer than 6 nor more than 11 members appointed by the joint legislative council from names submitted by the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands in this state or the Great Lakes inter-tribal council. The joint legislative council may not appoint more than one member under this subdivision based on the recommendation of any one American Indian tribe or band or of the Great Lakes inter-tribal council.
Not fewer than 6 nor more than 12 legislator members of the senate and assembly, including at least one member of the majority party and at least one member of the minority party from each house, appointed by the joint legislative council.
The actual and necessary expenses incurred in attending meetings of the special committee shall be paid as follows:
The joint legislative council shall pay the expenses incurred by the members appointed under par. (b) 1.
, in performing their functions on the special committee, from the appropriation under s. 20.765 (3) (e)
The state departments shall pay the expenses of their representatives in connection with the work of the technical advisory committee under par. (f)
The special committee shall be assisted by a technical advisory committee composed of 8 members representing the following:
History: 1971 c. 211
; 1973 c. 333
; 1975 c. 39
; 1977 c. 31
; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1979 c. 8
; 1979 c. 34
; 1979 c. 204
; 1981 c. 86
; 1981 c. 173
; 1983 a. 27
, 2202 (45)
; 1983 a. 308
; 1985 a. 29
; 1989 a. 31
; 1993 a. 52
; 1995 a. 27
ss. 9126 (19)
, 9130 (4)
, 9145 (1)
; 1995 a. 417
; 1997 a. 3
; 1999 a. 60
; 2003 a. 33
; 2005 a. 25
; 2007 a. 20
, 9121 (6) (a)
; 2009 a. 185
1979 Assembly Bill 657 contains a prefatory note explaining the duties of the law revision committee.
Duties and powers of the joint committee on legislative organization. 13.90(1)(1)
The joint committee on legislative organization shall be the policy-making board for the legislative reference bureau, the legislative fiscal bureau, the legislative audit bureau and the legislative technology services bureau. The committee shall:
Determine the types of tasks to be assigned to each legislative service bureau or staff within statutory limitations, and the quantity and quality thereof.
Consider and approve the budget of each bureau or staff.
Meet at such times as it may determine to carry out its policy-making duties, and for the purposes of this paragraph the committee may provide a method of procuring decisions by mail.
Promulgate rules under ch. 227
required for the proper operation of each legislative service bureau or staff.
Employ an outside staff of professional consultants for the purpose of studying ways to improve legislative staff services and organization. Without limitation because of enumeration, this study shall cover legislative service agencies, the management of legislative business, legislative compensation, legislative office space, and the increasing amounts of time required by legislative duties.
Supervise the development of programs for computer use and approve and monitor computer operations in the legislative process. All contracts for legislative computer equipment and services shall be signed by the cochairpersons.
Determine the officer who has operational responsibility for legislative document sales and distribution under s. 35.87
Determine and approve a parking plan for the state capitol park consistent with s. 16.843
Recommend to the legislature a newspaper to serve as the official state newspaper as provided in s. 985.04
Designate the individuals authorized to sign joint purchasing contracts for the senate and assembly and the legislative service agencies under s. 16.74 (2)
Determine the method of sale and prices for subscriptions to legislative documents and the operational responsibility for any legislative document subscription services provided under s. 35.87
In this subsection, “legislative service agency" means the legislative council staff, the legislative audit bureau, the legislative fiscal bureau, the legislative reference bureau, and the legislative technology services bureau.
The joint committee on legislative organization shall select the head of each legislative service agency. The appointment of each legislative service agency head shall be made without regard to political affiliation in order to safeguard the nonpartisan character of each legislative service agency. In the case of the state auditor, the joint legislative audit committee shall make recommendations for the approval of the joint committee on legislative organization. The committee shall designate an employee of each legislative service agency to exercise the powers and authority of each legislative service agency head in case of absence or disability.
The cochairpersons of the joint committee on legislative organization or their designated agent shall accept service made under ss. 806.04 (11)
and 893.825 (2)
. If the committee, the senate organization committee, or the assembly organization committee determines that the legislature should intervene in the proceeding as provided under s. 803.09 (2m)
, the assembly shall represent the assembly, the senate shall represent the senate, and the joint committee on legislative organization shall represent the legislature. The costs of participation in the proceeding shall be paid equally from the appropriations under s. 20.765 (1) (a)
, except that such costs incurred by the department of justice shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.455 (1) (d)
In this subsection, “legislative service agency” has the meaning given in sub. (1m)