Wisconsin Legislature Amendment, Question 1 (1881)

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The Wisconsin Legislature Amendment was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 8, 1881 ballot in Wisconsin, where it was approved.

This amendment modified Article IV, Section 4,5,11, and 21 of the Wisconsin Constitution to provide for biennial sessions, 2-year assembly terms, 4-year senate terms, and $500 yearly salary for the legislature.[1]

Election results

Question 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 53,532 79.34%
No13,93620.66%

Official results via: Wisconsin Blue Book 2011 - 2012

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

For the amendment to section four, article four, of the constitution

For the amendment to section five, article four, of the constitution
For the amendment to section eleven, article four, of the constitution
For the amendment to section twenty-one, article four, of the constitution...☐

Against the amendment to section four, article four, of the constitution
Against the amendment to section five, article four, of the constitution
Against the amendment to section eleven, article four, of the constitution
Against the amendment to section twenty-one, article four, of the constitution...☐[2]

Constitutional changes

AN ACT to submit to the people an amendment of sections four, five, eleven and twenty-one, article four, of the constitution of this state.
Whereas at the annual session of the legislature of this state for the year 1880, an amendment to the constitution of this state was proposed and agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, which amendment was in the following language:
Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That section four of article four of the constitution of this state be amended so as to read as follows:
Section 4. The members of the assembly shall be chosen biennially, by single districts, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November after the adoption of this amendment, by the qualified electors of the several districts; such districts to be bounded by county, precinct, town or ward lines, to consist of contiguous territory, and be in as compact form as practicable.
That section five of article four of the constitution of this state be amended so as to read as follows: Section 5. The senators shall be elected by single districts of convenient contiguous territory, at the same time and in the same manner as members of the assembly are required to be chosen, and no assembly district shall be divided in the formation of a senate district. The senate districts shall be numbered in the regular series, and the senators shall be chosen alternately from the odd and even-numbered districts. The senators elected, or holding over at the time of the adoption of this amendment, shall continue in office till their successors are duly elected and qualified; and after the adoption of this amendment, all senators shall be chosen for the term of four years.
That section eleven of article four of the constitution of this state be amended so as to read as follows: Section 11. The legislature shall meet at the seat of government at such time as shall be provided by law, once in two years and no oftener, unless convened by the governor in special session, and when so convened no business shall be transacted except as shall be necessary to accomplish the special purposes for which it was convened.
That section twenty-one of article four of the constitution of this state be amended so as to read as follows: Section 21. Each member of the legislature shall receive for his services, for and during a regular session, the sum of five hundred dollars, and ten cents for every mile he shall travel in going to and returning from the place of meeting of the legislature on the most usual route. In case of an extra session of the legislature, no additional compensation shall be allowed to any member thereof, either directly or indirectly, except for mileage, to be computed at the same rate as for a regular session. No stationery, newspapers, postage or other perquisite, except the salary nod mileage above provided, shall be received from the state by any member of the legislature for his services, or in any other manner as such member. [2][3]

Path to the ballot

  • First Legislative Approval: SJR 9 (1880)
  • Second Legislative Approval: AJR 7 (1881)
  • Submission to the People: Ch.262 (1881)[1]

See also

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