Request text and history of legislative proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who are my legislators?
  2. How do I contact my legislators?
  3. How do I search for a bill, joint resolution or resolution by number? By sponsor? By subject? By keyword?
  4. How can I find information on a bill?
  5. Where can I find a list of standing committees and their members?
  6. When does the legislature convene? Adjourn? (When is the legislature in session?)
  7. How can I find information about public hearings?
  8. How can I find out how a legislator voted on a bill?
  9. How can I get copies of bills/acts/statutes/administrative code?
  10. How current is the information on this site?
  11. How does a bill become a law? (What is the legislative process in Wisconsin?)
  12. What is the composition of the legislature?
  13. Where is the State Capitol Building located?
    Which entrances are open to the public?
  14. How can I contact a state agency?
  15. How can I find the history/intent of a state statute? Act? Bill?
  16. How do I find information on lobbyists?
To look up unfamiliar terms, use our glossary.
  1. Who are my legislators?

    Use our Who Are My Legislators? search engine to find the names of your state legislators and U.S. Senators and Representatives by searching on your street address or municipality, or by looking at a map of legislative districts in the state.
  2. How do I contact my legislators?

    Check our Senate and Assembly e-mail directory pages to e-mail your legislator or a staff member. Legislators can be reached by mail at the following addresses:
    • Senators
      P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882
    • Representatives whose last names begin with the letters A-L
      P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708-8952
    • Representatives whose last names begin with the letters M-Z
      P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708-8953

    For lists of legislators with their office phone and room numbers format, see the PDF versions of the Senate and Assembly directories.

    Or, for individual Legislators' office numbers, see the Senate and Assembly members' home pages.
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  3. How do I search for a bill, joint resolution or resolution by number? by sponsor? by subject? by keyword?

    By number

    Use the bill tracking form. Put in the number. Choose the senate if it is a senate bill, the default is an assembly bill. Choose act, resolution or joint resolution if not the default choice of bill. Choose a session if not the current session (sessions back to 1995 available). When the bill’s history appears, click on the bill number to see the text.

    By Sponsor

    Go to the author index in our Legislative document website. Put the author’s last name in the white box in the lower left corner of the screen.

    By Subject

    Go to the subject index to legislative proposals in our Legislative document website. Put the subject you wish to search in the white box in the lower left corner of the screen.
    There is also a subject index to acts.

    By Keyword

    You can search the full text of every bill introduced in the legislature during the current session in our Legislative document website. Put the subject you wish to search in the white box in the lower left corner of the screen.
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  4. How can I find information on a bill?

    Once you know a bill number, the next step is to use the bill tracking form to check for more information.  When you enter a bill number, the form gives you a list or history of every action that has affected the bill from its introduction through the previous business day.  In addition to the bill’s status, the history links to the bill and every introduced amendment, to fiscal estimates if there are any and to any roll call votes that have taken place on the bill.  [Bill histories are also available as a Legislative document website]

    After looking at the text of the bill, you may wish to contact the author of the bill or the chair of the committee to which the bill was referred for more information on the bill.
  5. Where can I find a list of standing committees and their members?

    A list of committee membership by committee is available from the Legislature Web site for both Senate and Assembly committees.  Committee membership by member is available through senator's and representative's home pages. This information is also available in print in the Bulletin of Proceedings.
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  6. When does the legislature convene? Adjourn? (When is the legislature in session?)

    The Wisconsin Legislature operates in a biennial session that lasts from early January of the odd numbered year to early January of the odd numbered year two years later.  The session is referred to by the odd-numbered year, for example, acts from the 2001-2002 Legislative Session are called 2001 Wisconsin Acts. During the session, business is conducted during scheduled Floorperiods.  For information about the dates of Floorperiods for the current session, see the Wisconsin Legislative Schedules and Calendars.
  7. How can I find information about public hearings?

    Notice of public hearings is given in the Weekly Schedule of Committee Activities. Because there are many committees meeting and on some days floor sessions are scheduled, it is not practical to schedule committee meetings more than a few weeks in advance.
  8. How can I find out how a legislator voted on a bill?

    Link to our "Researching Legislative Voting Records" page for step-by-step instructions.
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  9. How can I get copies of bills/acts/statutes/administrative code?

    Most documents on our site are available in the pdf format.  To view or print them you need a PDF reader.

    Printed copies of bills and acts are available from the Legislative Reference Bureau, Suite 200, One East Main, Madison, WI 53703, telephone (608) 266-0341.  Many public libraries in Wisconsin have the printed volumes of the Wisconsin Statutes. To request a printed copy by email: LRB.reference@legis.wisconsin.gov
  10. How current is the information on this site?

    New bills, resolutions and amendments are added overnight. Bill status is updated overnight. Other documents are changed on an irregular basis, as information changes or following the schedule of a print publication.
  11. How does a bill become a law? (What is the legislative process in Wisconsin?)

    See "How a Bill Becomes a Law" for a short explanation or "The Legislative Process in Wisconsin" for a more complete discussion.
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  12. What is the composition of the legislature?

    The main Senate and Assembly pages list the composition of the legislature as well as the leadership of each house.
  13. Where is the State Capitol Building located? Which entrances are open to the public?

    The State Capitol Building is located in the center of downtown Madison, on the Capitol Square.  Building hours are 8:00am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday and 8:00am-4:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

    Tour and observation deck information is available from the State Capitol home page, run by the Department of Administration.
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  14. How can I contact a state agency?

    Go to the Wisconsin state government portal or directly to their list of state agencies.
  15. How can I find the history/intent of a state statute? Act? Bill?

    See the WI Legislative Reference Bureau’s "Guide to Researching Wisconsin Legislation" or contact the LRB for assistance.
  16. How do I find information on lobbyists?

    Information on lobbyists, the organizations that are lobbying, and the rules that must be followed are available from the State Ethics Board.
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