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. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.
The legislature is currently in a floorperiod that will continue until June 30. The January special session is ongoing.
On June 14, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no bar to publication of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, which had been placed under injunction by Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi on May 26. Secretary of State Douglas La Follette said he would publish the act on June 28 or 29.
2011 Assembly Bill 40, the biennial budget bill, passed the Assembly 60-38 on June 14. Assembly Amendment 1 to Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 and Assembly Amendment 1 to Assembly Amendment 1 to ASA-1 were adopted. The Senate passed AB-40, 19-14, without further amendment on June 16. Governor Walker is scheduled to act upon the budget bill on June 26 in Green Bay.
On June 23, Governor Walker signed 2011 Senate Bill 15 into law as 2011 Wisconsin Act 29. The act repeals requirements for collection and analysis of motor vehicle traffic stop information (“racial profiling” ). The proposal passed the Senate on February 23, and the Assembly on June 8.
2011 Senate Bill 93 would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons when licensed. SB-93 passed the Senate on June 14 and passed the Assembly June 21.
School Choice. 2011 Assembly Bill 94, making changes to the Milwaukee Schools Parental Choice private schools voucher program, passed the Assembly on May 10. A public hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Education on May 25.
Synthetic Drugs. 2011 Senate Bill 54, which adds several non-narcotic, hallucinogenic substances, known as synthetic drugs, to Schedule I controlled substances, passed the Senate on May 17, passed the Assembly on June 8, and was enrolled on June 13.
Deer Hunting. 2011 Senate Bill 75, which prohibits the Department of Natural Resources from establishing certain restrictions, such as the “Earn a Buck” rule, on hunting antlered deer and regulating the establishment of fall open seasons for hunting deer with firearms, passed the Senate on May 17, and was received by the Assembly and referred to its Committee on Natural Resources on the same day.
Early Release. 2011 Senate Bill 57, which generally repeals early release from incarceration provisions enacted in 2009 Wisconsin Act 28, passed the Senate on May 11, passed the Assembly on June 8, and was enrolled on June 15.
Transportation Segregated Funds. 2011 Senate Joint Resolution 23, a constitutional amendment (first consideration) to constitutionally create a Department of Transportation, a transportation fund, and regulate the use of monies deposited into the fund, passed both the Senate and Assembly on May 17. To take effect, it must be passed in identical form by the 2013 Legislature and be ratified in a statewide referendum.
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. Be sure to select "Jan 2011 Special Session" as the session to be able to view Special Session bills.
One seat in the Assembly, District 48, remains vacant. Governor Walker has issued Executive Order 31, setting a special election for August 9, with a primary to be held on July 12 if necessary. The District 48 seat was vacated when Democrat Joe Parisi resigned to assume the post of elected Dane County Executive.
For more information on the special legislative elections, see the Government Accountability Board.
The Government Accountability Board voted in May to certify recall petitions against six state senate Republicans: Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Sheila Harsdorf, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, and Luther Olsen. Because more than one person challenged each incumbent, the July 12 election has become a primary, and the general recall election will be held four weeks later on August 9, 2011.
On June 8, the GAB voted to direct staff to certify the sufficiency of recall petitions against three Democratic senators - Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, and Robert Wirch - no later than June 10, and order recall elections on July 19, 2011. If more than one person runs against each incumbent, the July 19 election becomes a primary, and the general recall election will be held four weeks later on August 16, 2011.
The GAB site also shows the recall committees that did not file the necessary signatures by their respective deadlines.
For more information on recall petitions and elections refer to the GAB.
Legislative committee activity is available on the Schedule of Committee Activities.
The Census Bureau has released detailed census data from the 2010 census. Wisconsin’s population on April 1, 2010 was 5,686,986. The ideal population of a senate district in a senate of 33 members will be 172,333. The ideal population of an assembly district in an assembly of 99 members will be 57,444. The largest senate district in terms of the 2010 population is the 27th senate district, with a population of 197,815, an increase of 35,452 since 2000. The smallest is the 6th senate district, with a population of 152,758, a decrease of 9,931 since 2000. The largest assembly district is the 79th assembly district, with a population of 76,116, an increase of 21,554 since 2000. The smallest assembly district is the 18th assembly district, with a population of 48,387, a decrease of 5,749 since 2000.
The Legislative Reference Bureau published an Informational Bulletin on Guidelines for Adjusting Municipal Wards Following the 2010 Census. The bulletin provides information on the ward subdistricting process, the statutory requirements and legal deadlines that must be met, and the relationship among state, county, and local governments in establishing and using municipal wards to form election districts.
As a State-Level Wisconsin Documents Depository Library participating in the Wisconsin Documents Depository Program, the LRB Library receives many publications from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. The publications cover a wide range of topics from Wisconsin history, including biography, natural resources, agriculture, and specific events in Wisconsin history. Below are listed just a few of the Historical Society publications that the LRB Library has received in recent years. As part of our Wisconsin Documents collection, the titles below are available for use in the LRB Library only, or look for them at your local library.
The library has many more titles from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Check our catalog, or come over and browse our shelves to see what we have.
For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.
Last revised: November 16, 2012