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Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight

This page, maintained by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, provides an overview of recent and upcoming activities in the Wisconsin Legislature. Its content is revised weekly during legislative floorperiods and less frequently when the legislature is not in session. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text. Related links are listed at the end of this feature including links to earlier issues of the Spotlight.

September 18, 2002

Budget Reform Bill Passes

Governor Scott McCallum signed the budget reform bill with partial vetoes as 2001 Wisconsin Act 109 on July 26. Its general effective date was July 30. The governor's veto message and vetoed text can be found in the Legislative Reference Bureau's Executive Vetoes Of Bills Passed By The 2001 Wisconsin Legislature From May 3, 2002, Through August 16, 2002.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has already issued a comparative summary of the bill as it emerged from the conference committee and its major differences from the senate and assembly versions.

Fall Election Notes

The fall general election is November 5. All 99 seats in the assembly and 17 of 33 state senate seats -- those for the odd-numbered districts -- are up for election. All districts in each house were redrawn by a federal court after the legislature failed to enact a redistricting plan (see below).

There will be at least 16 new faces in the legislature next session. Rep. Mark Duff (R-New Berlin) lost to Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin), in the primary for the new 84th assembly district. Senator Peggy Rosenzweig (R-Wauwatosa) lost a primary race in the new 5th senate district. In addition, two senators and 12 representatives are not running for reelection. Senators Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee) and Joanne Huelsman (R-Waukesha) and Representatives Peter Bock (D-Milwaukee), Timothy Hoven (R-Port Washington), MaryAnn Lippert (R-Pittsville), John Ryba (D-Green Bay), Tom Sykora (R-Chippewa Falls), and Frank Urban (R-Brookfield) will not be candidates for reelection this fall. Representatives Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), John La Fave (D-Milwaukee), Joseph Leibham (R-Sheboygan), and Martin Reynolds (D-Ladysmith) are running for other public offices. Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa), who was elected Milwaukee County Executive on April 30, has already resigned from the legislature. Rep. Hoven resigned on August 1.

In the senate, two Republicans and one Democrat have no opposition in the general election. The winner of the Democratic primary for one senate seat has no opponent in the general election.

On the assembly side, 18 Democrats and 17 Republicans face no opposition. In addition, 6 Republicans and 5 Democratic primary winners face no opponent in the general election. See the Legislative Reference Bureau's Candidates: Primary Election, September 10, 2002 for a list of all candidates.


The legislature has completed its regularly scheduled sessions for the biennium. It adjourned its last general business floorperiod, at which time all regular session bills not passed by both houses died.

Redistricting - Legislative Districts

The Republican-controlled assembly and Democrat-controlled senate passed different bills and could not agree on a plan to redistrict legislative seats. Because no bill passed both houses before the legislature adjourned its regular session on March 14, 2002, the U.S. District Court in Milwaukee promulgated a legislative redistricting plan.

On March 30, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin issued a decision promulgating new state senate and assembly districts (Baumgart, et al. v. Wendelberger, et al., Case No. 01-C-121). The decision and other information, including maps of the new districts, can be found at:

Redistricting - Congressional Districts

On March 26, the governor signed 2001 Wisconsin Act 46 creating the federal congressional districts for the next decade.

2001-2002 Wisconsin Blue Book Available

The 2001-2002 Wisconsin Blue Book, the official almanac of Wisconsin State Government, is now available both in print and on the Internet. The Blue Book, which is compiled by the Legislative Reference Bureau each odd-numbered year, contains nearly 1,000 pages of information about Wisconsin and its state government. The new edition contains a feature article entitled "Restoring the Vision," which describes the current State Capitol, its construction in the early 1900s, and its recent renovation.  Members of the Wisconsin Legislature are provided with a limited number of Blue Books and copies of a separate reprint of the feature article for distribution to constituents.  Copies of the Blue Book may also be purchased from the Department of Administration Document Sales Unit at (608) 264-9419 or (800) 362-7253.

More information on obtaining a copy of the 2001-2002 Wisconsin Blue Book.

Related Links

Governor McCallum's 2001-2002 Budget Address

Governor McCallum's Inauguration Address

2001-2002 Wisconsin Blue Book

2001-2002 Legislative Session Schedule

Weekly Hearing Schedule

Previous Legislative Spotlights

The Governorís Blue-Ribbon Commission on State-Local Partnerships for the 21st Century

Final Report of the Criminal Penalties Study Committee

Madison: A Capital Idea

Wisconsin Electronic Reader: A digital imaging project of the UW-Madison Libraries and the State Historical Society, reproducing letters and other items from Wisconsin's history.

State Capitol photographs and tour information

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Last revised: September 18, 2002