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 often when the legislature is not in session. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text. Related links, including links to earlier issues of the Spotlight, are listed at the end of this feature.
January 3, 2005
|The Ninety-Seventh Wisconsin Legislature was inaugurated on January 3, 2005|
In the November 2 election, the 16 even-numbered Senate seats and all 99 Assembly seats were on the ballot.
The new senate has 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats. 5 members are new to the senate. Of the five, four have previously served in the assembly. In total, 23 of the 33 senators have served in the assembly.
The senior member of the senate is Fred Risser, who begins his 22nd session of service in that body. Combined with his assembly service, he has served 48 years in the Wisconsin legislature, more than anyone in state history.
11 members of the senate classify themselves as full time legislators.
26 of 33 senators have a bachelorís degree or associates degree; 8 have an advanced degree.
4 senators have served on county boards, and 10 have served on municipal boards or school boards.
The average age of senators is 52 years.
8 of the 33 senators are women.
The new assembly has 60 Republicans and 39 Democrats. 81 of the 99 members have previous assembly experience. One of the ďnewĒ faces, Representative Frederick P. Kessler, is actually returning to the legislature after an absence of 32 years.
The senior member of the assembly is Representative Marlin D. Schneider, who begins his 18th session. With his inauguration, he breaks the record for assembly service set by Representative Cletus Vanderperren, who served from 1959-1993.
39 members of the assembly classify themselves as full time legislators.
70 of 99 members have a bachelorís degree or associates degree; 34 have advanced degrees.
18 have served in county boards, and 28 have served on municipal or school boards.
The average age of representatives is 50 years.
26 of the 99 representatives are women.
The governorís state of the state address is schedules for January 12.
The first regular floor session for the 2005 biennium will be from January 25-27.
The governorís budget message is scheduled for February 8.
Senate president Alan Lasee has proposed setting limits on senate debate in the 2005 session, as provided for in Senate Rule 76.
The Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council is offering symposia on a variety of topics during autumn 2004 through winter 2004-05. Recent topics have included healthy lifestyles and nutrition, autism, and state "branding" and promotion. Programs scheduled for January and February include trends in labor, trade, population change, and health care. The symposia are open to the public and a schedule and description of programs is available on the Council Web site.
The library section of the Legislative Reference Bureau has prepared bibliographies of selected research materials to accompany the programs, available on the LRB Web site.
The 2005-06 legislative session begins on January 3, 2005. No bills carry over from one biennial session to the next. Bills that legislators want to reintroduce receive new bill numbers in the new session. The schedule for the 2005-06 session will not be set until the legislature meets in January. In recent sessions, the new schedule has usually been similar to that of the previous session. The 2003-04 session schedule is still available.
There are no scheduled floorperiods remaining this year. The governor has signed or vetoed all bills passed by the legislature this session. All bills which have not become law are dead. The last regular floorperiod ended on March 11, 2004. This was the last general business floorperiod of the 2003-04 legislative session. The legislature ended an extraordinary session on May 20. The legislature may call itself into extraordinary session again or the governor may call a special session at any time before the new legislative session begins in January 2005.
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. This service is designed to make it much easier for citizens to follow the activity of the legislature.
Internet Broadcast of Floor Debate. Citizens can listen to live floor debate in both houses using the Legislature's InSession service: Senate audio and Assembly audio. Broadcasts are live only. If one house or the other is not in session, there is no audio available. The Assembly offers live video as well, with links from the InSession page. 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.
The 2003-2004 Wisconsin Blue Book, the official almanac of Wisconsin State Government, is 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. Members of the Wisconsin Legislature are provided with a limited number of Blue Books for distribution to constituents. Copies of the Blue Book may also be purchased from the Department of Administration Document Sales Unit (608.264.9419 or 800.362.7253). The 2005-2006 Blue Book will be published in autumn 2005.
More information on obtaining a copy of the 2003-2004 Wisconsin Blue Book.
The Legislative Council's Research Center provides overviews of topics of interest to the legislature as well as links to Council publications related to the topic.
|| Home | Spotlight | Senate | Assembly | Introduced Proposals | Statutes | Support Agencies | Legislative Links ||
Last revised: 16 October, 2012