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.
For information on upcoming hearings refer to the Schedule of Committee Activities.
On July 21, Rod Nilsestuen, secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, died from a drowning accident in Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan while in the area for a Habitat for Humanity project. Governor Doyle released this statement regarding his passing.
In a 5-2 opinion released on July 20, the State Supreme Court ruled against the state’s transfer of $200 million from the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund as part of the 2007-09 biennial budget. The court agreed with the Wisconsin Medical Society that taking the money from the fund used to help pay malpractice claims was unconstitutional. The case will be sent back to a lower court with directions that it order the state to pay back the money with interest and lost earnings, which will affect the current state budget or future commitments. The opinion can be viewed here.
On July 9, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memoto 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.
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 Infobasessite, 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 committeeswith 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