|Wisconsin State Senate District 24|
|2003 - Present|
|January 3, 2013|
|Years in position||10|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2008|
|Next election||November 6, 2012|
|Assembly Member, Wisconsin State Assembly|
|Bachelor's||University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1993|
|Place of birth||Stevens Point, WI|
Lassa's professional experiences include executive director of Plover Area Business Association and legislative aide.
Lassa earned as BS in political science/public administration from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; and did graduate work at University of Wisconsin, Madison, La Follette Institute of Public Affairs. 
On May 10, 2010, Lassa officially announced her candidacy for the seventh district congressional district seat, currently held by Dave Obey.
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Lassa has been appointed to these committees:
- Joint Committee on Legislative Audit
- Economic Development and Veterans and Military Affairs
- Financial Institutions and Rural Issues
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Lassa served on these committees:
- Children and Families and Workforce Development Committee, Wisconsin Senate
- Economic Development Committee, Wisconsin Senate, Chair
- Public Health, Human Services, and Revenue
- Finance Committee, Wisconsin Senate
- Joint Committee on Finance
- Special Committee on Performance-Based Disease Management Programs for Large Population , Chair
- Special Committee on Strengthening Wisconsin Families, Chair
Lassa and the 13 other Democratic senators participated in a legislative walkout on February 17, 2011 in opposition to Assembly Bill 11 - a Republican-sponsored bill aimed at limiting collective bargaining rights, compensation and fringe benefits of public employees. The Democratic departure left the Senate one vote shy of a quorum. Reports confirmed the senators fled to a hotel in Rockford, Illinois. State police were dispatched by Governor Scott Walker (R) to retrieve the senators, but were unable to cross state lines.  The 14 state senators who left the state are being described as the "Badger 14" or "Fab 14."
On February 22, speaking from the basement of an Illinois hotel, Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller provided the minority response to Gov. Scott Walker, saying, "The governor has the tools at his disposal to put this issue to an end. As soon as he is willing to take a compromise, we will go back to work in an instant." Miller stated that the legislators payed for the trip themselves, and that no taxpayer money was spent.Walker called on the Democratic senators to return to the state by March 1 in order to vote to restructure the state's debt. If they did not, he stated he may have to start cutting state jobs, saying:
It’s not just a number, it’s not just a budget, it’s ultimately a real person with a real family, so I’m going to push that back as far as I can. We’ve got to have real numbers to balance the budget to avoid layoffs. My hope is those 14 state senators … realize that in the end, it’s much better off to avoid those cuts, it’s much better off to avoid the most dire consequences that will come if we don’t pass this bill.The Democratic senators said they would not return until the governor was willing to compromise on the budget-repair bill.
Democrats threatened with arrest
Republicans passed a unanimous resolution on March 3 finding the missing legislators in contempt and threatening them with arrest. It gave them until 4 p.m. to return or the sergeant-at-arms was ordered to take "any and all necessary steps, with or without force, and with or without the assistance of law enforcement, by warrant or other legal process, as he may deem necessary in order to bring that senator to the Senate chambers."
The constitutionality of that resolution was unclear, however, as the Wisconsin Constitution only allows for the arrest of legislators while in session if they are suspected of committing a felony, treason, or breach of the peace. Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, said the resolution was an "unreasonable abuse of police power."
Sen. Jon Erpenbach provided the Democratic response, stating, "All 14 of us remain in Illinois, very strong in our convictions. Issuing arrest warrants at 4 p.m. isn't going to solve the problem. This is a debate about protection of the middle class in Wisconsin; that is what the Republicans should be focusing on."
The move by Republicans came the day after they issued fines of $100 a day for not showing up at the Capitol, along with taking away parking spaces. The week before Republicans also passed a rule suspending direct-deposit of paychecks. Sen. Erpenbach found a way around this by granting power of attorney to two of his aides, giving them power to, among other things, pick up his paycheck. In the end Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald mailed the check to Erpenbaach.
On March 7, Democratic leader Sen. Mark Miller sent a letter to the governor and senate majority leader asking for a meeting near the Wisconsin-Illinois border to restart talks on the collective bargaining issue. Gov. Walker responded at a press conference, calling the letter "ridiculous," and saying that several meetings between the two sides have taken place, but that Miller has stood in the way of a compromise.
Sen. Chris Larson said, "Dems will return when collective bargaining is off the table. That could be soon based on the growing public opposition to the bill and the recall efforts against Republicans."
On March 8, the Governor's office released an email exchange dated March 6 between Eric Schutt, Walker's deputy chief of staff, and Democratic Senators Cullen and Jauch. The exchange discusses possible compromises on the bill, including allowing unions to bargain for wages beyond inflation rates, permitting collective-bargaining on certain economic issues, allowing public workers to collectively bargain workplace safety issues, and limiting collective bargaining agreements to 2 years or less.
Republicans pass bill
In a surprise maneuver, Senate Republicans on March 9 passed controversial reforms to the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers. In a process that took just over two hours, Republicans passed the bill by a vote of 18-1, with Sen. Dale Schultz (R) casting the only no vote.
Republicans skirted the need for a quorum by removing the sections of the bill that had to do with appropriating funds. With these removed, the bill only needed to be passed by a simple majority -- rather than requiring a quorum of 20 senators. At 4 p.m. on March 9 a conference committee on the budget-repair bill was convened. Two hours later the committee met and advanced the new measure without debate. Immediately following that, the Senate met and passed the new version, also without debate. It was then sent to the Assembly.
The only Democrat present at the meeting, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D), attempted to stop the proceedings, stating that the committee was in violation of the state's open meeting law. According to the law, most public bodies are required to give 24 hours notice before a meeting. The two hours notice that the committee provided led Barca to declare, "Mr. Chairman, this is a violation of law! This is not just a rule — this is the law." Ignoring Barca, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) ordered the vote taken as shouts of protest rang from the galleries.
The bill was given a stay by Dane County Court Judge Maryann Sumi. On May 26, 2011, Sumi struck down the legislative actions leading to the bill eliminating public employee collective bargaining on the grounds that it violated the state's Open Meetings Law. The state Departments of Justice and Department of Administration appealed the decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  On June 14 the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the district court decision, stating it "exceeded its jurisdiction, invaded the legislature’s constitutional powers...and erred in enjoining the publication and further implementation of the act."
In the wake of events surrounding the bill, both Democratic and Republican senators were targeted by active recall campaigns. Recall sponsors filed signatures on petitions targeting 6 Republican state senators and 3 Democratic state senators. Challenges were filed in all 9 of those campaigns, and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board approved the six campaigns against Republicans at meetings on May 23 and May 31, and approved the three campaigns against Democrats on June 8. Democrats held onto the 30th district seat on July 19. Republicans lost two seats in the August 9 recalls, but held onto four. Two incumbent Democrats successfully retained their seats on August 16.
A recall campaign against Lassa began in February following Lassa's decision to walkout of the Senate and leave the state with the rest of the Democrats over Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill. The campaign ended on May 16, when an organizer announced that they were only able to collect about one-third of the signatures necessary.
Prior to the announcement that the recall campaign had failed, the Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board over newspaper ads calling for the senator's recall. The ads were paid for by a group that is not registered as a PAC calling itself Citizens of District 24. Since they are not registered as such, their spending on advertising is limited to $25, but the ads cost almost $500.
- See also: Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2010
Lassa's seat was not up for election in 2010. Lassa ran for U.S. Congress District 7 in 2010. She defeated opponent Don Raihala in the September 14, 2010 primary. She faced Republican Sean Duffy for the seat vacated by the retiring Representative David Obey in the November 2, 2010 general election.  Duffy defeated Lassa.
|U.S. Congress, District 7 (2010)|
|Sean Duffy (R)||132,551|
|Julie Lassa (D)||113,018|
Julie Lassa raised $57,06 for her campaign, while Tom Kimmet raised $2,675.
|Wisconsin State Senate, District 24 (2008)|
|Julie Lassa (D)||57,985|
|Tom Kimmet (R)||27,660|
- A bill creating a tax credit for businesses that sponsor college tuition
- A bill prohibiting the purchase of tobacco products for a minor
According to reports available as of May 16, 2011, Lassa raised $14,330 in 2010. Listed below are the top five contributors to her campaign. 
|Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association||$1,000|
|Northwestern Mutual Life||$1,000|
In 2008, Lassa collected $57,066 in donations. Financial, insurance and real estate interests were his largest donor group.
Listed below are the top four contributors to her campaign. 
|Wisconsin Insurance Alliance||$1,000|
|Wisconsin Education Association Council||$1,000|
- Sen. Lassa's Wisconsin State Legislature website
- Project Vote Smart legislative profile
- Project Vote Smart biographical profile
- Campaign contributions: 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
- Julie Lassa legislation information on State Surge
- Lassa on Twitter
- Lassa on Facebook
- Lassa on LinkedIn
Lasser is married and has two children.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Project Vote Smart - Senator Lassa
- ↑ Wisconsin AG connection, "Rep. Black to Retire from Assembly; Lassa to Seek Obey's Seat," May 11, 2010
- ↑ Wisconsin.gov, ASSEMBLY BILL 11, accessed 17 Feb. 2011
- ↑ Green Bay Press Gazette, Wisconsin Democrats flee to Clock Tower Hotel in Rockford, Ill., to block anti-union bill, 17 Feb. 2011
- ↑ Bloomberg Businessweek, Senator: Missing Wis. lawmakers left the state, 17 Feb. 2011
- ↑ The Badger 14
- ↑ Fab 14 Facebook page
- ↑ WISN, "State Sen. Minority Leader Responds to Walker," February 22, 2010
- ↑ Christian Science Monitor, "Wisconsin governor to missing senators: Come back or I'll lay off 1,500," February 28, 2011
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Wall Street Journal, "Pressure Mounts on Absent Democrats in Wisconsin, Indiana," March 3, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin State Journal, "Senate orders arrest of missing Democrats," March 3, 2011
- ↑ My Fox Chicago, "Wisconsin GOP Slaps Missing Dems With $100 Daily Fines," March 2, 2011
- ↑ Talking Points Memo, "AWOL Wisconsin Dem Beats The System, Gets His Paycheck Mailed To Him," March 3, 2011
- ↑ New York Times, "Wisconsin Democrats Urge New Talks on Labor Bill," March 7, 2011
- ↑ CNN, "Wisconsin gov: Democratic senator's border meeting idea 'ridiculous'," March 7, 2011
- ↑ Talking Points Memo, "Wisconsin Dems Deny WSJ Report Of Imminent Return," March 6, 2011
- ↑ CNN, "E-mails: Wisconsin governor offers concessions on budget bill," March 8, 2011
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Miami-Herald, "Wisconsin Republicans bypass Democrats on union bill," March 9, 2011
- ↑ Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, "Senate advances collective bargaining changes; Democrats to return after Assembly vote," March 9, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin State Journal, "Judge strikes down Walker's collective bargaining law, case moves to state Supreme Court", May 26, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Reporter, "Judge: Collective bargaining bill violated open meetings law", May 26, 2011
- ↑ Shorewood Patch, "UPDATE: Unions Sue to Block Supreme Court's Reinstatement of Controversial Budget Repair Bill," June 14, 2011
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "2012 Candidate List
- ↑ ‘’Gazette Xtra,’’ “Last recall drive targeting Wis. senator fails,” May 16, 2011
- ↑ WSAU, "Lassa recall ads questioned," May 13, 2011
- ↑ Wood County, Wisconsin Official Website retrieved September 15, 2010
- ↑ Wisconsin State Election Results, 2008
- ↑ Follow the Money 2008
- ↑ Legislation
- ↑ Legislation information on State Surge
- ↑ Bill 63
- ↑ Assembly Bill 154
- ↑ 2010 contributors to Julie Lassa
- ↑ 2008 contributors to Julie Lassa
|Wisconsin State Senate District 24
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