The Legislative Council Staff is a nonpartisan legislative service agency of the Wisconsin Legislature. Legislative Council services are available to any legislator and their staff. State law requires that all work by the staff for legislative offices remain confidential.
The staff is headed by a Director, who reports to the Joint Legislative Council and the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization. The director supervises 25 employees consisting of attorneys, analysts and administrative staff.
The Legislative Council Staff assists the Legislature as follows:
- Providing legal and policy analysis, as well as procedural advice, to the standing and statutory committees of the Legislature and legislative taskforces.
- Providing general staff services to study committees created by the Joint Legislative Council.
- Responding to information and legal and policy research requests from legislators and other legislative agencies.
- Serving as the Administrative Rules Clearinghouse by preparing reports on all proposed administrative rules and assisting standing committees in their oversight of the administrative rulemaking process.
- Providing training to new legislators, legislative staff, committee chairpersons and committee clerks.
- Preparing an Amendment Memo to describe every amendment recommended by a standing committee or adopted by either house of the Legislature.
- Preparing an Act Memo to describe every enactment of the Legislature.
The Legislative Council Staff also prepares the following general publications for use by legislators and the public:
- Information Memoranda, which provide detailed discussions of topics that are of major concern to the Legislature.
- Issue Briefs, which provide a two-page explanation of topics of interest to the Legislature.
- Study Committee Reports, which include detailed summaries of recommendations from study committees.
- Interim Research Reports, which provide background information and stakeholder recommendations for legislation to address selected topics.