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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. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.

The Week of July 28, 2008

Legislative Session

Pursuant to 2007 Senate Joint Resolution 1, the last general business floorperiod of the 2007 biennial session concluded on March 13, and the last veto review period ended on May 29. The 2007 Legislature is not scheduled to meet again in regular session for the remainder of 2008.

Governor's Task Force on Global Warming

The Governor's Task Force on Global Warming, created by Governor Jim Doyle, pursuant to Executive Order 191 on April 5, 2007, has issued its final report to the Governor. The report discusses the task force’s goals and makes recommendations on greenhouse gas emission reduction in Wisconsin.

Legislative Candidates File for September Primary

July 8 was the filing deadline for the September 2008 primary elections. All 99 seats in the Wisconsin Assembly and 16 of the 33 seats in the Wisconsin Senate are up for election this November. Districts in which more than one candidate from a particular political party has submitted nominating papers will have a primary election. On July 16, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) certified the final list of candidates. The complete list is available from the Elections Division of the GAB.

Two of the 16 senate seats have no incumbent running.

Seven of the 14 senators running for reelection have no opposition. One other senator has no major party opposition.

No incumbent senators will face a primary opponent.

Thirteen of 99 assembly seats have no incumbent running.

Eighteen of 86 representatives running for reelection have no opposition. Three more have no major party opposition.

Twelve of the 86 representatives running for reelection have a primary opponent.

Interviews with many of the incumbents not running for reelection can be viewed on WisconsinEye.

Rep. Wood Files as Independent Candidate

Representative Jeff Wood (67th Assembly District) of Chetek, currently seated as a Republican, filed for reelection as an independent candidate. No candidates representing the Republican Party filed by the July 8 deadline, nor did any Democrats file. In the absence of write-in candidates, Rep. Wood will be unopposed in November. If Rep. Wood is reelected, it will be the first time since 1947 that a legislative session began with a member of the Assembly who was not a Democrat or Republican.

Michigan's Approval Sends Great Lakes Water Compact to Congress

With Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's signature on July 9, Michigan became the eighth and final Great Lakes state needed to approve the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The multistate compact attempts to preserve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. It now goes to the U.S. Congress, which must approve the compact for it to take effect. With the approval of 2007 Wisconsin Act 227, Wisconsin adopted the compact in May following Governor Doyle's call in April for a special session of the Wisconsin Legislature.

For more information, see:

Department of Children and Families Launched

The new Department of Children and Families began operating on July 1. The department will be Wisconsin’s first cabinet agency focused exclusively on promoting the safety, economic, and social well-being of children and families of the state. The new department brings together 30 services formerly split between the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). More information can be viewed on their Web site.

Committee Activity

Because the final general business floorperiod of the 2007-2008 session has concluded, committees are no longer meeting to consider proposed legislation. They will, however, continue to hold occasional meetings and public hearings on various matters such as appointments to boards and commissions, state contracts, and administrative rules. In addition, special study committees of the Legislative Council will continue to meet during the interim. One Legislative Council special committee will meet this week:

Emergency Management and Continuity of Government, Wednesday, July 30, 10:00 a.m. in the Legislative Council Conference Room, One East Main St., Suite 401.

Please see the Schedule of Committee Activities to view the full monthly calendar and to obtain details regarding times and locations of committee meetings.

Recent Publications

The Legislative Reference Bureau recently issued Budget Brief 08-2, “No Call List and Cell Phones,” Legislative Brief 08-8, “Organ Donation,” Legislative Brief 08-7, “Changes in Impact Fees and Development of Public Facilities,” Wisconsin Brief 08-8, “Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact,” Research Bulletin 08-1, “Summary of the 2007-2008 Wisconsin Legislative Session,” and Wisconsin Brief 08-7, “State Agencies, Boards, Commissions, or Councils Created, Repealed, or Revised by the 2007 Legislature.”

The Legislative Audit Bureau recently released audits on the operation of State Fair Park and on the Wisconsin Lottery. Other recent reports include the Unclaimed Property Program and Overtime in State Agencies.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has recently issued its Comparative Summary of Budget Adjustment Provisions, and preliminary information on 2007-08 Property Taxes in Wisconsin.

Recent publications from the Legislative Council can be found here.

Blue Book Study Guides

Two Informational Bulletins were also issued by the LRB as companions to the 2007-2008 Wisconsin Blue Book: Informational Bulletin 07-1, “A Study Guide to the 2007-2008 Wisconsin Blue Book,” and Informational Bulletin 07-2, “Inside the 2007-2008 Wisconsin Blue Book.”

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Last revised: November 05, 2012