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 final scheduled floorperiod of the 2009-10 legislative session ended on May 26. The legislature is in an interim period for the remainder of the biennial session. The schedule for the current legislative session was established by 2009 Senate Joint Resolution 1. Senate and Assembly committees will meet during the interim to consider administrative rules and conduct informational hearings.
All state assembly seats and odd-numbered senate seats will be up for election this fall. For more information on registered candidates, please see the Government Accountability Board's Web site. You can also view a list of incumbents who will not be seeking reelection.
The Joint Committee on Audit is scheduled to hold a public hearing on three proposed audits on July 14. The proposed audits are for the Family Care Plan in the Department of Health Services, the Contract Sunshine Act, and Educational Programs for Working Adults in the Technical College System. A live broadcast of the hearing will be available on the Legislative Audit Bureau's Web site. For information on other upcoming hearings refer to the Schedule of Committee Activities.
On July 9, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo to all members of the legislature detailing the condition of the general fund budget for the 2009-11 and 2011-13 biennia.
According to the memo, the state could face a $2.5 billion structural deficit for the next session. The numbers are based on current fiscal commitments and do not account for future revenue or appropriation changes.
The 2009-2010 Wisconsin Blue Book feature article, "Wisconsin at the Frontiers of Astronomy: A History of Innovation and Exploration", won the Wisconsin Library Association's 2009 Distinguished Document Award. Written by James Lattis and Peter Susalla from UW-Madison, with graphic design by the LRB's Kathleen Sitter, the article is eligible for consideration in 2011 for the American Library Association, Government Document Roundtable's Notable Document award for state and local government.
Two other documents received Honorable Mentions:
Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide, Grades 7-12 / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 2009. 622.5/W7b1
“See Wisconsin Through the Eyes of 19th Century Surveyors” / Natasha Kassulke and David Mladenoff, Wisconsin Natural Resources, August 2009. A special insert on Wisconsin’s land cover which combines “the views and tools of satellites and 19th century surveyors to map a picture of the changing [Wisconsin] landscape.” Images of surveyors’ notes and the survey plats can be found at: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/SurveyNotes.
On June 30, the State Supreme Court ruled the adoption of a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriages to be valid. The opinion, written by Justice Gableman, states that the amendment was adopted in conformity with the separate amendment rule of the constitution, which mandates voters must be able to vote separately on separate amendments. For more information on the separate amendment rule, see the LRB’s informational memorandum on the topic.
In the 2009 legislative session, 406 bills have been signed into law. Six bills have been vetoed in their entirety, and 5 bills were vetoed in part.
There were 978 assembly bills and 708 senate bills introduced during the 2009 session. Additionally, one senate bill was introduced during the June 2009 Special Session, and 2 assembly bills were introduced during the December 2009 Special Session. All introduced legislation can be found on the Legislature's Searchable Infobases site, or by using the "Request text and history of legislative proposals" function on the home page.
On May 27, the Legislative Council released a list of proposed study committees with the results of the balloting of the council. The committees are to report to the 2011 legislature.
For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.
Last revised: November 13, 2012