State Senator Joe Leibham represents the residents of the 9th Senate District, which is comprised of the northern half of Sheboygan and southern half of Manitowoc counties, as well as portions of Calumet and Fond du Lac counties. Prior to being elected to the Senate in November 2002, Senator Leibham served in the State Assembly from 1998-2002, representing the cities and towns of Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls and the Village of Kohler. Senator Leibham also served on the Sheboygan City Council from 1993-2000, serving as President in 1995-96.
Senator Leibham was born and raised in Sheboygan and is the fourth oldest of 13 Leibham children. He attended Pigeon River Public Elementary School, Trinity Lutheran School and Lutheran High School in Sheboygan. Following high school, Senator Leibham attended UW-La Crosse and Ealing College in London, England, before graduating from UW-Madison in 1991 with a B.A. in Political Science/Public Administration. Joe worked many part-time and summer jobs so he could solely finance 100 percent of his college costs.
Senator Leibham is married to Heather (Hanson) of Plymouth, and they have been blessed with the gift of two sons, Andrew and William and daughter, Lucy. They own a home and reside in the Town of Sheboygan.
In addition to being a dad and a taxpayer, Senator Leibham brings professional private sector experience to the office of the 9th Senate District, having worked in the food service industry as an Account Executive for Sargento Foods and the Manager of Membership Development for the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce.
As an Eagle Scout, church Elder, usher and active member of the communities of the 9th District, Senator Leibham continues to participate in community projects such as the annual Sheboygan and Manitowoc Rebuilding Together organizations, Sheboygan County Work Bound, the Friends of the Sheboygan Senior Center, the Community Built Playground in Manitowoc, local Farm Bureaus and Honorary Chairperson of the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk (2009, 2010 and 2011). Senator Leibham has made a strong commitment to be a hands-on partner with the residents of the 9th District and is dedicated to advocate for their needs.
While his top job is to represent and connect the citizens and families of the 9th District to our State Government, Senator Leibham has accepted various responsibilities in the State Capitol. In addition to his current duties as President Pro Tempore in the State Senate, Senator Leibham currently serves on the following committees, commissions and boards while continuing to develop legislation to serve the interests of the residents and taxpayers of the 9th District and the State of Wisconsin:
• Member, Joint Committee on Finance
• Member, Senate Committee on Economic Development and Local Government
• Member, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors
• Member, Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules
• Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs
• Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs
• Member, Governor’s Council on College and Workforce Readiness
• Member, Transportation Projects Commission
• Member, Highway Safety Commission
Senator Leibham was previously assigned to the following committees while serving in the Wisconsin State Senate:
• Joint Committee on Finance
• Joint Committee on Legislative Organization
• Committee on Senate Organization
• Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules
• Committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations
• Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, Biotechnology and Financial Institutions
• Chairman, Senate Committee on Economic Development and Veterans & Military Affairs
• Educational Communications Board
• Transportation Projects Commission
• State Capitol and Executive Residence Board
• Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Information Infrastructure
• Committee on Transportation & Elections
• Co-Chairman, Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules
Two busloads of Leibham supporters traveled from Sheboygan to the State Capitol for Senator Leibham's swearing in.
During his two terms in the Assembly, Leibham served on the following committees:
• Co-Chair, Joint Committee for Audit
• Vice Chair, Assembly Committee on Census and Redistricting
• Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities
• Assembly Committee on Transportation
• Assembly Committee on Tax and Spending Limitations
• Assembly Committee on State and Local Finance
• Assembly Committee on Small Business and Economic Development
• Assembly Committee on State Affairs
As the State Senator for the 9th District, Senator Leibham has focused his legislative efforts in a number of areas.
Job Creation and Economic Development
Senator Leibham has worked to enact a wide range of policies that would advance policies that will develop our economy and create jobs. Senator Leibham was a leading sponsor of the Job Creation Act of 2003.
Reducing Wisconsin’s Tax Burden
Senator Leibham has worked to enact tax cuts that will spur our economy and remove Wisconsin from the list of highest-taxed states in America. Many of the initiatives that Senator Leibham has specifically authored have become law, including the elimination of the state tax on Social Security benefits, tax deductibility of health insurance premiums and a permanent one-cent gas tax reduction. Senator Leibham is a consistent voice in the State Senate on overall fiscal responsibility and spending restraint, advocating for policies that would root out waste, fraud and bureaucratic excess in state government.
Protecting our Rights and Freedoms
Guided by a firm belief that each legally-cast vote deserves to be counted once, Senator Leibham has become a leader in the effort to restore integrity to our state elections process, authoring the most comprehensive state election reform package in a generation and pushing for a photo ID requirement at the polls.
Senator Leibham has also worked to protect private property rights and the right for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.
Showing Appreciation to our Veterans
Senator Leibham believes it is our responsibility to show our appreciation for the servicemen and women who have put their lives on the line for our country. As a result, Senator Leibham has authored a number of bills to enhance the current veterans’ benefits available to those who have bravely served our nation in the Armed Forces, such as enhancing the veterans’ property tax credit and the Wisconsin G.I. Bill.
In addition, Senator Leibham has provided a strong legislative voice for area sportsmen and women and people with disabilities.
Recently, Senator Leibham was recognized by Milwaukee Magazine as the hardest working legislator.
While Senator Leibham respects and understands the need for an efficient government, he is guided by the firmly-rooted principles of liberty, individual responsibility, hard work and self-determination. He strongly believes that individual free people are best able to determine their own future success, happiness and prosperity.
Revised & Updated 1/23/13