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Legislative Reference Bureau

Legislative Reference Bureau

STATE OF WISCONSIN

STATE OF WISCONSIN

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Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight

The Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight provides an overview of recent and upcoming activities in the Wisconsin Legislature. The Legislative Reference Bureau revises its content weekly. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.

2015 Legislative Session - A citizen's guide

The 2015-2016 legislative session began when the new legislature was sworn in on January 5, 2015. The schedule of floorperiods for the new session was established by Senate Joint Resolution 1.

Notification service. The legislature's Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service makes following the legislative process easier for interested citizens. Registered users can receive daily or weekly emails when specified legislative activity occurs. For example, users may choose to be notified about every action affecting a specific proposal, bills introduced by a particular legislator, activities of a specific committee, or introductions relating to a particular topic.

Internet Broadcast of Floor Debate. Citizens can watch and listen to live floor debate in both houses using the Legislature's InSession service: Senate and Assembly. Broadcasts are live only. The InSession pages also provide the day's calendar with links from the calendar to bills before the house and to roll call votes as they occur.

Legislative Documents. Search legislative documents from the current and past sessions, including introduced proposals, statutes, administrative code, clearinghouse rules, committee hearing records and more. For help navigating the site, go to the Legislative Reference Bureau's Research Services page.

2013-2014 Wisconsin Blue Book

The 2013-2014 Blue Book, the manual of state government and statistical information about Wisconsin, is available online and is available for purchase from the Department of Administration, Document Sales Unit (search Document Sales Catalog for "Wisconsin Blue Book"), (608) 266-3358. The price is $10.15 with shipping and $7.25 without.

LRB Publications

Throughout the session, the LRB issues publications related to current proposals and other recent issues of interest.

Stay Updated

The Legislature has RSS feeds for recent session activity. You can view all introduced proposals on our legislative documents database. The LRB's Capitol Headlines Daily page offers links to news stories related to the Legislature. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Audit Bureau Reports

The Legislative Audit Bureau conducts financial and program evaluation audits of state agencies. Recent audit reports are accessible online.

WisconsinEYE

WisconsinEYE, a private, not-for-profit statewide public affairs network provides video coverage of Assembly and Senate floor sessions as well as select committee hearings. The proceedings they record are archived on their Web site.

The Week of July 27, 2015

The Wisconsin Legislature's 2015-2016 legislative session began on January 5, 2015. The schedule of floorperiods is established by Senate Joint Resolution 1. The most recent regular floorperiod, scheduled to last until budget passage, has been adjourned; however, the Legislature called itself into extraordinary session as of July 7 to take up the budget bill, the Bucks Arena proposal, as well as several other proposals.

For daily updates on Wisconsin politics in the news, please see our Capitol Headlines page.

Special Election

On July 21, Chris Kapenga was elected to the 33rd Senate District seat which was recently vacated by Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. Senator-elect Kapenga previously represented the 99th Assembly District. An unofficial election count is provided by Waukesha County.

Biennial Budget

On July 12, the governor signed the 2015-17 Biennial Budget into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 55. The governor made 104 partial vetoes to the bill; his veto message explains each one.

The Legislature passed the bill on successive days, the Senate on July 7 and the Assembly on July 8. The Senate took up 2015 Senate Bill 21 and adopted Senate Substitute Amendment 1 (SSA1) after adopting two amendments to SSA1. The first amendment removed provisions approved by the Joint Committee on Finance related to open records. The amendment passed unanimously. The second amendment added various provisions, including one that would revise the prevailing wage laws in Wisconsin, and was approved by a vote of 17-16. A total of 45 amendments were offered on SSA1; all but the first two were tabled. The Senate's final vote on SB-21 was 18-15.

The Assembly took up the amended SB-21 the next day. A total of 31 amendments were offered during debate, but none were adopted. The final Assembly vote on passage of the budget was 52-46.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has prepared several memos related to budget amendments, which can be viewed at its Web site.

Bucks Arena

On July 15, the Senate convened in extraordinary session to pass 2015 Senate Bill 209, a proposal to fund a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team. The Senate adopted two amendments to the bill, SA1-SA1-SB209 and SA1-SB209. The LFB issued a memo on the amendments. The final Senate vote on the proposal was 21-10. The bill has been engrossed and messaged to the Assembly. The Assembly has scheduled a floorperiod to discuss the proposal for Tuesday, July 28.

Abortion at 20 Weeks

2015 Wisconsin Act 56, signed by the governor on July 22, requires a doctor to determine the probable postfertilization age of an unborn child and would prohibit an abortion after 20 weeks postfertilization, which, under the proposal, is the time after which a child is considered to be capable of feeling pain. There is an exception for medical emergencies.

Recently Signed

As of Friday, July 24, the governor has signed 58 bills into law from the current session.

A list of enrolled bills that are ready to be sent to the governor is updated regularly.

Recently Introduced Proposals

On July 22, the following proposals were introduced:

2015 Senate Bill 215 would increase the limit on the per pupil revenue amount a school district may receive by the annual increase in the consumer price index.

2015 Assembly Bill 288 would permit a voter in a partisan primary to "split tickets," designating the candidate of his or her choice for each office, including the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, regardless of party affiliation. This change would initially be applicable in the 2016 partisan primary election.

A list of recently introduced proposals is available at the Legislature's 2015 documents site.

Committee Activity

On July 29, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules will hold a public hearing on rules relating to physician licensure and DNA analysis.

On July 30, the Assembly Committee on Insurance will hold a public meeting on 2015 Assembly Bill 197, relating to information to be provided by insurers about health care plans offered on the American health benefit exchange, and 2015 Assembly Bill 119, relating to motor vehicle repair practices.

Resources from the LRB Library

The library recommends the following resources:

Recent Publications

For information about legislative service agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.

Spotlight Home | Legislature Home | Senate | Assembly |
Introduced Proposals | Statutes | Glossary of Terms

Send comments to LRB.Reference@legis.wisconsin.gov

Last revised: July 24, 2015

Spotlight Archive

Edition of

July 27, 2015
July 20, 2015
July 13, 2015
July 6, 2015
June 29, 2015
June 22, 2015
June 15, 2015
June 8, 2015
June 1, 2015
May 25, 2015
May 18, 2015
May 11, 2015
May 4, 2015
April 27, 2015
April 20, 2015
April 13, 2015
April 6, 2015
March 30, 2015
March 23, 2015
March 16, 2015
March 9, 2015
March 2, 2015
February 23, 2015
February 16, 2015
February 9, 2015
February 2, 2015
January 26, 2015
January 19, 2015
January 12, 2015
January 5, 2015
December 22, 2014
December 15, 2014
December 8, 2014
December 1, 2014
November 24, 2014
November 17, 2014
November 10, 2014
November 3, 2014
October 27, 2014
October 20, 2014
October 13, 2014
October 6, 2014
September 29, 2014
September 22, 2014
September 15, 2014
September 8, 2014
September 1, 2014
August 25, 2014
August 18, 2014
August 11, 2014
August 4, 2014
July 28, 2014
July 21, 2014
July 14, 2014
July 7, 2014
June 30, 2014
June 23, 2014
June 16 2014
June 9, 2014
June 2, 2014
May 26, 2014
May 19, 2014
May 12, 2014
May 5, 2014
April 28, 2014
April 21, 2014
April 14, 2014
April 7, 2014
March 31, 2014
March 24, 2014
March 17, 2014
March 10, 2014
March 3, 2014
February 24, 2014
February 17, 2014
February 10, 2014
February 3, 2014
January 27, 2014
January 20, 2014
January 13, 2014
January 6, 2014
December 23, 2013
December 16, 2013
December 9, 2013
December 2, 2013
November 25, 2013
November 18, 2013
November 11, 2013
November 4, 2013
October 28, 2013
October 21, 2013
October 14, 2013
October 7, 2013
September 30, 2013
September 23, 2013
September 16, 2013
September 9, 2013
September 2, 2013
August 26, 2013
August 19, 2013
August 12, 2013
August 5, 2013
July 29, 2013
July 22, 2013
July 15, 2013
July 8, 2013
July 1, 2013
June 24, 2013
June 17, 2013
June 10, 2013
June 3, 2013
May 27, 2013
May 20, 2013
May 13, 2013
May 6, 2013
April 29, 2013
April 22, 2013
April 15, 2013
April 8, 2013
April 1, 2013
March 25, 2013
March 18, 2013
March 11, 2013
March 4, 2013
February 25, 2013
February 18, 2013
February 11, 2013
February 4, 2013
January 28, 2013
January 21, 2013
January 14, 2013
January 7, 2013

For editions between 1997 and 2013, please see our archive page.