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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 October 13, 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.

President Signs Great Lakes Compact

On October 3, President George W. Bush signed the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The multi-state agreement attempts to preserve and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. The Wisconsin Legislature ratified the compact in a May special session, with the Governor signing 2007 Act 227 to join several other states and two Canadian Provinces in approval. Congressional ratification of the compact came from the Senate in August and from the House in September. For more information and background on the Great Lakes Compact, see the Legislative Council and Council of Great Lakes Governors Web sites.

Legislative Candidates for November General Election

The results of the September primary have been certified by the Government Accountability Board.  All 99 seats in the Wisconsin Assembly and 16 of the 33 seats in the Wisconsin Senate are up for election this November. The Legislative Reference Bureau has also issued a Wisconsin Brief on the candidates.

Refer to Ballot Order List for the November 4, 2008 Election for a list of all candidates on the November 4, 2008 ballot.

Voter Identification Lawsuit

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a lawsuit on September 10 that would require the Government Accountability Board to order election clerks to confirm the identities of voters who have registered since January 1, 2006. A federal law that took effect on January 1, 2006, requires states to create voter registration lists and cross-check those lists with other state databases to confirm voter identities. Because of a software problem, Wisconsin was not able to begin cross-checking voter registration until August 6, 2008, so the suit would require checks to be done retroactively for all voters who have registered since 2006.

Other State Government News

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmaster said October 6 that she would not seek a third term of office. Anthony Evers, Deputy State Superintendent, has said that he will run for the position in the Spring election.

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission has filed a complaint against Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman over a television ad run during last spring's judicial election. The complaint was filed on October 7.

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. 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 a bibliography on State Energy Policy.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released an Audit on Wisconsin Mental Health Institutes.

Recent publications by other legislative service agencies can be found here:

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau

The Legislative Council.

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

Last revised: November 07, 2012