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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 27, 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.

Legislative Candidates for November General Election

The results of the September primary have been certified by the Elections Division of 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 Registration Lawsuit

On October 23, 2008, Dane County circuit judge Maryann Sumi dismissed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen 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. The judge ruled that no federal or state law exists that makes cross-checking voter registrations necessary for a citizen to vote. Van Hollen released a statement expressing his intent to appeal. A transcript of the judge’s decision can be read here.

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.

On October 7, the Wisconsin Judicial Commission filed a complaint against Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman over a television ad run during last spring's judicial election. On October 22, an order was issued to appoint a three-judge panel to hear allegations that Gableman willfully violated the Wisconsin code of judicial ethics in his campaign against incumbent Justice Louis Butler. The panel was withdrawn for unknown reasons. Another order will be issued in the future.

President Signs Great Lakes Compact

On October 3, President George W. Bush signed the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The multistate 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.

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.

Several Legislative Council special study committees have been meeting throughout October.  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 two Wisconsin Briefs: "Candidates: General Election, November 4, 2008" and "Salaries of State Elected Officials, Effective January 2009".

The Legislative Audit Bureau released an Audit on Wisconsin Mental Health Institutes. Other recent reports are available at the LAB Web site.

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

Legislative Fiscal Bureau

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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Last revised: November 07, 2012