Wisconsin State Assembly

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Wisconsin State Assembly

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 10, 2012
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Jeff Fitzgerald, (R)
Majority Leader:   Scott Suder, (R)
Minority leader:   Peter Barca, (D)
Members:  99
   Democratic Party (38)
Republican Party (60)
Independent (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary:   $49,943/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 2, 2010 (99 seats)
Next election:  November 6, 2012 (99 seats)
Redistricting:  Wisconsin Legislature has control
Meeting place:
Wisconsin Assembly.jpg
The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, the state legislature of Wisconsin. 99 members serve in the State House of Representatives and all members are up for election every two years. Each member represents an average of 57,444 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 54,178 residents.[2] The Wisconsin State Assembly operates in a biennial session that lasts from early January of the odd numbered year to early January of the odd numbered year two years later. The session is referred to by the odd-numbered year, for example, acts from the 2001-2002 Legislative Session are called 2001 Wisconsin Acts. During the session, business is conducted during scheduled floorperiods. [3]

In 2012, the Assembly is in session from January 10 through a date yet to be determined.


Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution contains provisions related to the meeting of the Wisconsin State Legislature, of which the Assembly is a part. Section 11 of Article IV states that the times for regular sessions are to be provided by law. Section 11 also states that the Governor of Wisconsin has the power to call the Legislature into special session.


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Assembly is in session from January 10 through a date to be determined by the Legislature.

Major issues

With potential recalls of Governor Scott Walker (R), Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four Republican state senators, debate on major legislation was expected to be limited.[4] Going into the session, Republican leaders said they were focused on passing bills on only four main issues - clearing the way for on ore mine in northern Wisconsin, easing laws regarding development on wetlands, environmental regulation, and creating a venture capital fund to help start-up businesses.[5]

The six recalls dominated the session. Ultimately on June 5, recalls against the Governor, Lt. Governor, and three of the state senators were unsuccessful. The fourth recall, that against Van Wanggaard, went to a recount. Wanggaard was defeated, giving Democrats control of the Senate.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Assembly convened a special session at the request of Governor Scott Walker on January 4, 2011. The special session was called to consider legislation regarding tax credits, tort law, medical savings accounts, other legislation relating to taxation, and the budget repair bill.[6] The regular session began on January 11. Two extraordinary sessions were called by the Legislature in 2011. The first was held from June 13-30 followed by a second extraordinary session from July 19-29.


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Assembly convened its legislative session on January 19, and it ended its last scheduled floor-period on April 22. [7][8]



See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Wisconsin State Assembly will be held in Wisconsin on November 6, 2012. All 99 seats will be up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections is July 10, 2012.


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Wisconsin's State Assembly were held in Wisconsin on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 13, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010. Out of the 99 districts up for re-election, incumbents ran in 80 of them.

In 2010, the candidates for state assembly raised a total of $7,619,470 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [9]

Donor Amount
Public Fund $160,215
Marek, John $150,200
Prestrud, Marv $65,942
Kapenga, Chris $54,028
Klenke, John $50,317
Wisconsin Republican Party $43,734
McDonald, Dari $42,179
Simonson, John Christian $41,196
Wisconsin Education Association Council $36,250
Wisconsin Dental Association $29,789


Section 6 of Article 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution states, "No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year within the state, and be a qualified elector in the district which he may be chosen to represent."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the Assembly, the vacant seat must be filled by a special election[10]. The Governor can call for an election when allowed under law. The election cannot be held after February 1st before a spring general election unless it's held on the same day of the election which is first Tuesday in April. The same requirement applies to any election after September 1st preceding the fall general election unless it's held on the same day of the election which is the first Tuesday in November[11]. Also, all vacancies must be filled quickly as long the vacancy happened before the second Tuesday in May during an election year[12].


See also: Redistricting in Wisconsin

Redistricting in Wisconsin is under the control of the state legislature. If the state legislature fails to reach an agreement, the maps are drawn by either state or federal courts. The State Senate and State Assembly draft maps for the new state legislative districts and the U.S. Congressional districts. Both chambers must pass the new map, and the governor can sign or veto the map for any reason.[13]


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin's population increased from 5.36 million to 5.69 million between 2000 and 2010.[14] This population growth was large enough to allow the state to retain its eight Congressional seats.[15]

Republicans held the majority in the State Senate, State Assembly, and the governorship after the 2010 elections. As a result, the redistricting process was completely under the control of one party.

The Republican leadership dismissed the Democratic-hired firm that was going to aid with redistricting and instead brought in an outside group to aid the process. This new firm's leader had donated to Republican candidates in the past.[16] The redistricting process was accelerated by the summer 2011 recall elections, and Governor Scott Walker signed a bill that gave the legislature the power to redistrict state boundaries before the localities finished their redistricting processes.[17] The state Republicans unveiled their plan on July 8, 2011. Democrats criticized the plan as gerrymandering, but Republicans defended their map.[18] The maps passed the legislature on July 19, 2011, and signed into law by Governor Walker on August 9, 2011.[19]

Several lawsuits were filed as a result of the new maps.[20] The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board identified errors in the maps, likely due to the creation of the state boundaries before the localities finished drawing their boundaries. A court also determined that two Milwaukee-area districts needed to be redrawn to better represent minority-area populations.[21]


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of December 2014
     Democratic Party 38
     Republican Party 60
     Independent 1
Total 99


Mural in the Wisconsin State Assembly chambers. Stuffed eagle "Old Abe" is halfway between the flags
See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, members of the Wisconsin Assembly are paid $49,943/year. Legislators receive a maximum of $88/day per diem, set by the compensation commission. Based on the maximum, the leadership of each house determines what amount to authorize for each session.[22]

The $49,943/year that Wisconsin assemblymen are paid as of 2010 is an increase over the $47,413 were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem is the same.[23]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Wisconsin legislators assume office the first Monday in January following the election.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body and is elected by its membership. Duties of the speaker include appointing members to legislative committees, authenticating acts, orders, and proceedings of the Assembly, and supervising all other officers of the Assembly. In the absence of the Speaker, the Speaker Pro Tempore assumes all duties of the position.[24][25]

Current leadership

Position Representative Party
State Speaker of the Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Dan Knodl Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Majority Caucus Chair Joan Ballweg Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Majority Caucus Vice Chair John Murtha Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Majority Caucus Secretary Mary Williams Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Donna Seidel Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Minority Caucus Chair Kelda Roys Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Minority Caucus Vice Chair Fred Clark Electiondot.png Democratic

Current members

District Representative Party Residence
1 Garey Bies Ends.png Republican Sister Bay
2 Andre Jacque Ends.png Republican Green Bay
3 Alvin R. Ott Ends.png Republican Brillion
4 Chad Weininger Ends.png Republican Green Bay
5 Jim Steineke Ends.png Republican Kaukauna
6 Gary Tauchen Ends.png Republican Bonduel
7 Peggy Krusick Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
8 Jocasta Zamarripa Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
9 Josh Zepnick Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
10 Elizabeth Coggs Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
11 Jason Fields Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
12 Frederick P. Kessler Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
13 David A. Cullen Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
14 Dale Kooyenga Ends.png Republican Brookfield
15 Tony Staskunas Electiondot.png Democratic West Allis
16 Leon D. Young Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
17 Barbara Toles Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
18 Tamara D. Grigsby Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
19 Jon Richards Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
20 Christine Sinicki Electiondot.png Democratic Milwaukee
21 Mark Honadel Ends.png Republican South Milwaukee
22 Sandra Pasch Electiondot.png Democratic Whitefish Bay
23 Jim Ott Ends.png Republican Mequon
24 Daniel Knodl Ends.png Republican Germantown
25 Bob Ziegelbauer Independent Manitowoc
26 Mike Endsley Ends.png Republican Sheboygan
27 Steve Kestell Ends.png Republican Elkhart Lake
28 Erik Severson Ends.png Republican Star Prairie
29 John Murtha Ends.png Republican Baldwin
30 Dean Knudson Ends.png Republican Hudson
31 Stephen Nass Ends.png Republican Palmyra
32 Tyler August Ends.png Republican Lake Geneva
33 Chris Kapenga Ends.png Republican Delafield
34 Dan Meyer Ends.png Republican
35 Tom Tiffany Ends.png Republican Merrill
36 Jeffrey Mursau Ends.png Republican
37 Andy Jorgensen Electiondot.png Democratic Fort Atkinson
38 Joel Kleefisch Ends.png Republican Oconomowoc
39 Jeff Fitzgerald Ends.png Republican Horicon
40 Kevin Petersen Ends.png Republican Waupaca
41 Joan Ballweg Ends.png Republican Markesan
42 Fred Clark Electiondot.png Democratic Baraboo
43 Evan Wynn Ends.png Republican Whitewater
44 Joe Knilans Ends.png Republican Janesville
45 Amy Loudenbeck Ends.png Republican Clinton
46 Gary Hebl Electiondot.png Democratic Sun Prairie
47 Keith Ripp Ends.png Republican Lodi
48 Chris Taylor Electiondot.png Democratic Madison
49 Travis Tranel Ends.png Republican Cuba City
50 Ed Brooks Ends.png Republican Reedsburg
51 Howard Marklein Ends.png Republican Spring Green
52 Jeremy Thiesfeldt Ends.png Republican Fond du Lac
53 Richard Spanbauer Ends.png Republican Oshkosh
54 Gordon Hintz Electiondot.png Democratic Oshkosh
55 Dean Kaufert Ends.png Republican Neenah
56 Michelle Litjens Ends.png Republican Appleton
57 Penny Bernard Schaber Electiondot.png Democratic Appleton
58 Pat Strachota Ends.png Republican West Bend
59 Daniel R. LeMahieu Ends.png Republican Oostburg
60 Duey Stroebel Ends.png Republican Oostburg
61 Robert Turner Electiondot.png Democratic Racine
62 Cory Mason Electiondot.png Democratic Racine
63 Robin Vos Ends.png Republican Racine
64 Peter Barca Electiondot.png Democratic Kenosha
65 John Steinbrink Electiondot.png Democratic Pleasant Prairie
66 Samantha Kerkman Ends.png Republican Powers Lake
67 Tom Larson Ends.png Republican Colfax
68 Kathy Bernier Ends.png Republican Chippewa Falls
69 Scott Suder Ends.png Republican Abbotsford
70 Amy Vruwink Electiondot.png Democratic Milladore
71 Louis Molepske, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic Stevens Point
72 Scott Krug Ends.png Republican Wisconsin Rapids
73 Nick Milroy Electiondot.png Democratic Superior
74 Janet Bewley Electiondot.png Democratic Ashland
75 Roger Rivard Ends.png Republican Rice Lake
76 Terese Berceau Electiondot.png Democratic Madison
77 Brett Hulsey Electiondot.png Democratic Madison
78 Mark Pocan Electiondot.png Democratic Madison
79 Sondy Pope-Roberts Electiondot.png Democratic Verona
80 Janis Ringhand Electiondot.png Democratic Evansville
81 Kelda Roys Electiondot.png Democratic Madison
82 Jeffrey Stone Ends.png Republican Greendale
83 Dave Craig Ends.png Republican Vernon
84 Mike Kuglitsch Ends.png Republican New Berlin
85 Donna Seidel Electiondot.png Democratic Wausau
86 Vacant Marathon
87 Mary Williams Ends.png Republican Medford
88 John Klenke Ends.png Republican Green Bay
89 John Nygren Ends.png Republican Marinette
90 Karl Van Roy Ends.png Republican Green Bay
91 Chris Danou Electiondot.png Democratic Trempealeau
92 Mark Radcliffe Electiondot.png Democratic
93 Warren Petryk Ends.png Republican Eau Claire
94 Steve Doyle Electiondot.png Democratic La Crosse
95 Jill Billings Electiondot.png Democratic
96 Lee A. Nerison Ends.png Republican Westby
97 Bill Kramer Ends.png Republican Waukesha
98 Paul Farrow Ends.png Republican Pewaukee
99 Don Pridemore Ends.png Republican Hartford

Assembly standing committees

The Wisconsin Assembly has 31 standing committees:

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. Population in 2010 of the American states
  3. "Wisconsin Assembly" FAQ's, March 4, 2009
  4. Governor Journal, "Recalls Make for Quiet Session," January 16, 2012
  5. Appleton Post Crescent, "Wisconsin legislative agenda influenced by negative effects of recalls," January 16, 2012
  6. Wisconsin.gov, State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, accessed 7 March 2011
  7. 2010 session dates for Wisconsin legislature
  8. Explanation of Wisconsin legislative floor-periods
  9. Follow the Money: "Wisconsin Assembly 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  10. Wisconsin Legislature "Wisconsin Election Law"(Referenced Statute 17.19 (1), Wisconsin Statutes)
  11. Wisconsin Legislature "Wisconsin Election Law"(Referenced Statute 8.50, Wisconsin Statutes)
  12. Wisconsin Legislature "Wisconsin Election Law"(Referenced Statute 8.50(4)-(d), Wisconsin Statutes)
  13. Wisconsin Legislature "Wisconsin Redistricting Profile"
  14. U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Wisconsin Profile," 2011
  15. Northland's News Center "Minnesota and Wisconsin Both to Keep Eight Seats in House", December 21, 2010
  16. Chicago Tribune "Democrats cry foul over GOP hiring law firms" 5 Jan. 2011
  17. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Walker allows new legislative mapping, doesn't OK actual maps yet," July 25, 2011
  18. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Parties joust over Wisconsin redistricting plan," July 13, 2011
  19. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Walker signs legislation to redraw district boundaries," August 9, 2011
  20. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's redistricting trial goes to judges," February 24, 2012
  21. Wisconsin State Journal, "Court strikes down GOP redistricting, orders just 2 districts redrawn," March 22, 2012
  22. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
  23. Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
  24. Rules of the Wisconsin Assembly - Duties of the Speaker
  25. Wisconsin Assembly Leadership