Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight
Maintained by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB), this page provides an overview of recent and upcoming activities in the Wisconsin Legislature. The LRB revises its content weekly during legislative floorperiods and less often when the legislature is not in session. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.
In caucuses on November 9, the Senate elected leaders for the 2007 Legislature. The Senate Democrats designated Fred Risser as Senate President, Tim Carpenter as President Pro Tempore, Judy Robson as Senate Majority Leader, Dave Hansen as Assistant Majority Leader, Mark Miller as Senate Majority Caucus Chairperson, Jeff Plale as Assistant Majority Caucus chair, Spencer Coggs as Senate Majority Caucus Sergeant at Arms, and Jim Sullivan as Senate Majority Caucus Secretary. Senate Republicans designated Scott Fitzgerald as Senate Minority Leader, Joseph Leibham as Assistant Minority Leader, and Glenn Grothman as Minority Caucus Chairperson.
On November 14, Assembly party caucuses elected the Assembly leadership for the 2007 Legislature. Republicans elected Michael Huebsch as Speaker, Mark Gottlieb as Speaker Pro Tempore, Jeff Fitzgerald as Majority Leader, Mark Gundrum as Assistant Majority Leader, Mark Honadel as Majority Caucus Chairperson, Pat Strachota as Majority Caucus Vice Chairperson, Mary Williams as Majority Caucus Secretary, and Jerry Petrowski as Majority Caucus Sergeant at Arms. Democrats elected James Kreuser as Minority Leader, Jon Richards as Assistant Minority Leader, Tony Staskunas as Minority Caucus Chairperson, Tamara Grigsby as Minority Caucus Vice Chairperson, Donna Seidel as Minority Caucus Secretary, and Ann Hraychuck as Minority Caucus Sergeant at Arms.
Recounts. Recounts have been ordered in the 43rd, 88th, and 96th Assembly District races. The preliminary results in these districts are: 43rd: Kim Hixson (D) 10,287, Debi Towns (R)10,278; 88th: Jim Soletski (D) 8,927, Judy Krawczyk (R) 8,849; 96th: Lee Nerison (R) 9,782, Gail Frie (D) 9,352.
In the November 7 general election, 17 Senate seats and all 99 Assembly seats were on the ballot. Preliminary results indicate that the 2007 Wisconsin Legislature will have a Democratic majority in the Senate (18 Democrats and 15 Republicans) and a Republican majority in the Assembly (52 Republicans and 47 Democrats).
Preliminary election results indicate that 3 Republican incumbent senators lost their seats (Senators Brown, Reynolds, and Zien) and 1 open Republican seat (Senator Stepp) was filled by a Democrat. On December 1, the State Elections Board will certify the election results and make them available on their Web site.
In the Assembly, 6 Republican incumbents appear to have lost their seats (Representatives Freese, Krawczyk, Kreibich, Loeffelholz, Pettis, and Towns) and 2 Republican open seats (Representatives Underheim and Ward) were filled by Democrats.
Voters approved the constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions. The preliminary vote total was: Yes: 1,260,554 and No: 861,554.
Voters approved an advisory referendum regarding reinstating the death penalty in Wisconsin. The preliminary vote was: Yes: 1,163,163 and No: 932,286
Session. The 2005 Wisconsin Legislature completed its last general business floorperiod on Wednesday, May 31, 2006, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1. SJR-1 establishes the 2005-2006 Session Schedule. The session does not officially end until the inauguration of the 2007 Legislature on January 3, 2007. There are no more scheduled regular floorperiods until that time.
Action on Bills. The governor has acted upon 538 bills passed by both houses of the legislature, signing 491 into law, vetoing 47, and partially vetoing 2. View the Acts and veto messages on the Wisconsin Legislatureís Web site. The Legislative Reference Bureau has released Wisconsin Brief 06-9 detailing the executive vetoes made during the 2005-2006 Session.
Study committees are established by the Joint Legislative Council to examine major issues and problems identified by the Legislature. The study committees are made up of legislators and citizens who are interested in or knowledgeable about the study topic. Among the special committees established for the 2006 interim are those relating to: Review of the State School Aid Formula, Affirmative Action, Charter Schools, Disaster Preparedness Planning, Nuclear Power, the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact, the Placement of Sex Offenders, Review of Crimes Against Children, and Strengthening Wisconsinís Families. Information about the committees, including their membership, schedule of meetings and agendas, minutes of meetings, and related publications may be accessed on the Wisconsin Legislative Councilís Web site.
The Special Committee on Strengthening Wisconsin Families will meet on Tuesday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. in the Legislative Council Conference Room, One East Main Street, Suite 401.
The Special Committee on Expunction of Criminal Records will meet on Tuesday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 225 Northwest, State Capitol.
In October the Legislative Audit Bureau released a report on the University of Wisconsin Systemís personnel policies and practices.
The Legislative Audit Bureau released an audit on DNRís efforts to eradicate chronic wasting disease.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released an information paper indicating the amount of school aids each school district will receive in 2006-07.
In September the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a report on school finance.
The Legislative Reference Bureau recently released a new Wisconsin Brief on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.
Last revised: October 22, 2012