Difference between revisions of "Wisconsin State Legislature"

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|Type = [[State legislature]]
 
|Type = [[State legislature]]
 
|Term limit = [[State legislatures with term limits|None]]
 
|Term limit = [[State legislatures with term limits|None]]
|Next session = [[Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions|January 14, 2014]]
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|Next session = [[Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions|January 5, 2015]]
 
|Website = [http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ Official Legislature Page]
 
|Website = [http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ Official Legislature Page]
 
<!--Level 3-->
 
<!--Level 3-->
|Senate president = [[Michael Ellis]] (R)
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|Senate president = {{State Senate President|State=Wisconsin}}
|House speaker = [[Robin J. Vos]] (R)
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|House speaker = {{State House Speaker|State=Wisconsin}}
|Majority leader = [[Scott Fitzgerald]] (R) ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]),<br>[[Bill Kramer]] (R) ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
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|Majority leader = {{State Senate Majority Leader|State=Wisconsin}} ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]),<br>{{State House Majority Leader|State=Wisconsin}} ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
|Minority leader = [[Chris Larson]] (D) ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]),<br>[[Peter Barca]] (D) ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
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|Minority leader = {{State Senate Minority Leader|State=Wisconsin}} ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]),<br>{{State House Minority Leader|State=Wisconsin}} ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
 
<!-- Level 4-->
 
<!-- Level 4-->
 
|Members = 33 ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]), 99 ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
 
|Members = 33 ([[Wisconsin State Senate|Senate]]), 99 ([[Wisconsin State Assembly|Assembly]])
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|Salary = [[Comparison of state legislative salaries|$49,943/year]] + per diem
 
|Salary = [[Comparison of state legislative salaries|$49,943/year]] + per diem
 
<!-- Level 5-->
 
<!-- Level 5-->
|Next election = November 4, 2014
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|Next election = November 8, 2016 <br> 16 seats (Senate)<br>99 seats (Assembly)
|Last election = November 6, 2012 <br>[[Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2012|16 seats (Senate)]]<br> [[Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012|99 seats (Assembly)]]
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|Last election = November 4, 2014 <br>[[Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2014|17 seats (Senate)]]<br> [[Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2014|99 seats (Assembly)]]
 
|Redistricting = [[Redistricting in Wisconsin|Wisconsin Legislature has control]]
 
|Redistricting = [[Redistricting in Wisconsin|Wisconsin Legislature has control]]
 
|Building =  
 
|Building =  
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{{State trifecta status|state=Wisconsin|control=Republican}}
 
{{State trifecta status|state=Wisconsin|control=Republican}}
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::''See also: [[Wisconsin House of Representatives]], [[Wisconsin State Senate]], [[Wisconsin Governor]]''
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==Sessions==
 
==Sessions==
 
[[Article IV, Wisconsin Constitution | Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution]] contains provisions related to the meeting of the Legislature.  Section 11 of Article IV states that the times for regular sessions are to be provided by law.  Session times and dates are established by calendar, which is voted on at the beginning of each two year session.  Section 11 also states that the [[Governor of Wisconsin]] has the power to call the Legislature into special session.
 
[[Article IV, Wisconsin Constitution | Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution]] contains provisions related to the meeting of the Legislature.  Section 11 of Article IV states that the times for regular sessions are to be provided by law.  Session times and dates are established by calendar, which is voted on at the beginning of each two year session.  Section 11 also states that the [[Governor of Wisconsin]] has the power to call the Legislature into special session.
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===2015===
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::''See also: [[Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions]]''
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In 2015, the Legislature will be in session from January 5 through December 31 .
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====Major issues====
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Like many states, the issue that tops the Wisconsin State Legislature's to-do list is the state's budget.  Wisconsin currently faces a $2.2 million budget shortfall, and lawmakers will be forced to address the issue before any other projects.  The Republican agenda will also focus on reducing the size of government, tax cuts, entitlement reform and school accountability.  The Democrats, on the other hand, have emphasized their interest in focusing the debate on raising the minimum wage, income inequality and other issues Democrats say the middle class is concerned about.
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Alongside those issues will be the media and some lawmaker's preoccupation with whether or not Governor [[Scott Walker]] will announce a presidential bid for 2016.  But, Walker says that his ability to run for the country's highest office will largely depend on how his state fares, and so his potential bid is a motivation for the state.<ref>[http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/3/walker-legislature-focusing-on-budget-problem-in-2/#ixzz3QFJnHF9T Scott Bauer, ''The Washington Times'', "Walker, Legislature focusing on budget problem in 2015," January 3, 2015]</ref>
  
 
===2014===
 
===2014===
 
::''See also: [[Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions]]''
 
::''See also: [[Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions]]''
  
In 2014, the Legislature will be in session from January 14 through December 1.
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In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through June 4.
  
 
====Major issues====
 
====Major issues====
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session include income tax, public school funding, health care, and jobs.<ref>[https://www.wra.org/WREM/July13/ElectionThemes/ ''Wisconsin Realtors Association,'' "2014 Election Themes Take Shape," accessed January 14, 2014]</ref>
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Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included income tax, public school funding, health care and jobs.<ref>[https://www.wra.org/WREM/July13/ElectionThemes/ ''Wisconsin Realtors Association,'' "2014 Election Themes Take Shape," accessed January 14, 2014]</ref>
  
 
===2013===
 
===2013===
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In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 10 through March 16 with a return for limited business on April 24.
 
In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 10 through March 16 with a return for limited business on April 24.
 
====Major issues====
 
====Major issues====
With potential recalls of [[Wisconsin Governor|Governor]] [[Scott Walker recall, Wisconsin (2012)|Scott Walker]] (R), [[Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor|Lieutenant Governor]] [[Rebecca Kleefisch recall, Wisconsin (2012)|Rebecca Kleefisch]] (R) and [[Recall campaigns in Wisconsin|four Republican state senators]], debate on major legislation was expected to be limited.<ref>[http://governorsjournal.com/2012/01/recalls-make-for-quiet-session/ ''Governor Journal,'' "Recalls Make for Quiet Session," January 16, 2012]</ref> Going into the session, Republican leaders said they were focused on passing bills on only four main issues - clearing the way for an ore mine in northern Wisconsin, easing laws regarding development on wetlands, environmental regulation, and creating a venture capital fund to help start-up businesses.<ref>[http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20120116/APC0101/201160410/Wisconsin-legislative-agenda-influenced-by-negative-effects-recalls ''Appleton Post Crescent,'' "Wisconsin legislative agenda influenced by negative effects of recalls," January 16, 2012]</ref>
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With potential recalls of [[Wisconsin Governor|Governor]] [[Scott Walker recall, Wisconsin (2012)|Scott Walker]] (R), [[Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor|Lieutenant Governor]] [[Rebecca Kleefisch recall, Wisconsin (2012)|Rebecca Kleefisch]] (R) and [[Recall campaigns in Wisconsin|four Republican state senators]], debate on major legislation was expected to be limited. Going into the session, Republican leaders said they were focused on passing bills on only four main issues - clearing the way for an ore mine in northern Wisconsin, easing laws regarding development on wetlands, environmental regulation, and creating a venture capital fund to help start-up businesses.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20120116/APC0101/201160410/Wisconsin-legislative-agenda-influenced-by-negative-effects-recalls ''Appleton Post Crescent,'' "Wisconsin legislative agenda influenced by negative effects of recalls," January 16, 2012]</ref>
  
 
The six recalls dominated the session. Ultimately on June 5, recalls against the Governor, Lt. Governor, and [[Timeline of events of the recall of Wisconsin State Senators in 2012|three of the state senators]] were unsuccessful. The fourth recall, that against [[Van Wanggaard recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)|Van Wanggaard]], went to a recount. Wanggaard was defeated, giving Democrats control of the Senate.
 
The six recalls dominated the session. Ultimately on June 5, recalls against the Governor, Lt. Governor, and [[Timeline of events of the recall of Wisconsin State Senators in 2012|three of the state senators]] were unsuccessful. The fourth recall, that against [[Van Wanggaard recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)|Van Wanggaard]], went to a recount. Wanggaard was defeated, giving Democrats control of the Senate.
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===2011===
 
===2011===
 
:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions]]''
In 2011, the Legislature adjourned 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. The legislature's special session will be ongoing. <ref>[http://legis.wisconsin.gov/spotlight/index.htm ''Wisconsin.gov,'' State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, accessed 7 March 2011]</ref> The regular session began on January 11. An extraordinary session was called by the Legislature from June 13-30, with another extraordinary session scheduled for July 19-29. The next scheduled floor period is September 13, 2011. Though the January special session is ongoing, special session bills may be taken up in the interim. <ref>[http://legis.wisconsin.gov/spotlight/index.htm ''Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau,'' Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight, accessed July 1, 2011]</ref>
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In 2011, the Legislature adjourned 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. The legislature's special session will be ongoing. The regular session began on January 11. An extraordinary session was called by the Legislature from June 13-30, with another extraordinary session scheduled for July 19-29. The next scheduled floor period is September 13, 2011. Though the January special session is ongoing, special session bills may be taken up in the interim.<ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/2011-legislative-session-calendar.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures'', "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," December 19, 2011]</ref>
  
 
===2010===
 
===2010===
 
:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions]]''
In 2010, the Legislature convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| legislative session]] on January 19, and it ended its last scheduled floor-period on April 22. <ref>[http://www.legis.state.wi.us/leginfo/session.htm 2010 session dates for Wisconsin legislature]</ref><ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=18630 Explanation of Wisconsin legislative floor-periods]</ref>
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In 2010, the Legislature convened its [[Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions| legislative session]] on January 19, and it ended its last scheduled floor-period on April 22.<ref>[http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/2010-legislative-session-calendar.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures'', "2010 Legislative Sessions Calendar," December 8, 2010]</ref>
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===Role in state budget===
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::''See also: [[Wisconsin state budget and finances]]''
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{{PLP state general|State=Wisconsin}}
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{{Wisconsin budget process}}
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===Cost-benefit analyses===
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::''See also: [[Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study]]''
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{{Pew cost-benefit study|State=Wisconsin|Rank=Best}}
  
 
==Ethics and transparency==
 
==Ethics and transparency==
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===Following the Money report===
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{{Following the Money 2014 Report by State|State=Wisconsin|Grade=A-|Score=90|Level=leading}}
 
===Open States Transparency===
 
===Open States Transparency===
 
{{Transparency card|State=Wisconsin|Grade=D}}
 
{{Transparency card|State=Wisconsin|Grade=D}}
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==Redistricting==
 
==Redistricting==
 
:: ''See also: [[Redistricting in Wisconsin]]
 
:: ''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 [[Wisconsin State Senate|State Senate]] and [[Wisconsin State Assembly|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 of Wisconsin|governor]] can sign or veto the map for any reason.<ref>[http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/redistricting/state_of_wisconsin_profile.htm ''Wisconsin Legislature'' "Wisconsin Redistricting Profile"]</ref>
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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 [[Wisconsin State Senate|State Senate]] and [[Wisconsin State Assembly|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 of Wisconsin|governor]] can sign or veto the map for any reason.<ref>[http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/redistricting/state_of_wisconsin_profile.htm ''Wisconsin Legislature'', "Wisconsin Redistricting Profile," accessed August 9, 2014]</ref>
  
 
===2010===
 
===2010===
  
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin's population increased from 5.36 million to 5.69 million between 2000 and 2010.<ref>[http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10_thematic/2010_Profile/2010_Profile_Map_Wisconsin.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau'', "2010 Census: Wisconsin Profile," 2011]</ref> This population growth was large enough to allow the state to retain its eight Congressional seats.<ref>[http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Minnesota-to-Keep-Eight-Seats-in-House-112254034.html ''Northland's News Center'' "Minnesota and Wisconsin Both to Keep Eight Seats in House", December 21, 2010]</ref>  
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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin's population increased from 5.36 million to 5.69 million between 2000 and 2010.<ref>[http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10_thematic/2010_Profile/2010_Profile_Map_Wisconsin.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau'', "2010 Census: Wisconsin Profile," accessed August 9, 2014]</ref> This population growth was large enough to allow the state to retain its eight Congressional seats.<ref>[http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Minnesota-to-Keep-Eight-Seats-in-House-112254034.html ''Northland's News Center'', "Minnesota and Wisconsin Both to Keep Eight Seats in House," December 21, 2010]</ref>  
  
 
Republicans held the majority in the [[Wisconsin State Senate|State Senate]], [[Wisconsin State Assembly|State Assembly]], and the [[Governor of Wisconsin|governorship]] after the 2010 elections.  As a result, the redistricting process was completely under the control of one party.
 
Republicans held the majority in the [[Wisconsin State Senate|State Senate]], [[Wisconsin State Assembly|State Assembly]], and the [[Governor of Wisconsin|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.<ref>[http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-wisconsinredistri,0,2775841.story ''Chicago Tribune'' "Democrats cry foul over GOP hiring law firms" 5 Jan. 2011]</ref> The redistricting process was accelerated by the [[Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)|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.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/126141073.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Walker allows new legislative mapping, doesn't OK actual maps yet," July 25, 2011]</ref> The state Republicans unveiled their plan on July 8, 2011.  Democrats criticized the plan as gerrymandering, but Republicans defended their map.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/125491373.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Parties joust over Wisconsin redistricting plan," July 13, 2011]</ref> The maps passed the legislature on July 19, 2011, and signed into law by Governor [[Scott Walker|Walker]] on August 9, 2011.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/127319438.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Walker signs legislation to redraw district boundaries," August 9, 2011]</ref>
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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. The redistricting process was accelerated by the [[Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)|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.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/126141073.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Walker allows new legislative mapping, doesn't OK actual maps yet," July 25, 2011]</ref> The state Republicans unveiled their plan on July 8, 2011.  Democrats criticized the plan as gerrymandering, but Republicans defended their map.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/125491373.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Parties joust over Wisconsin redistricting plan," July 13, 2011]</ref> The maps passed the legislature on July 19, 2011, and signed into law by Governor [[Scott Walker|Walker]] on August 9, 2011.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/127319438.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Walker signs legislation to redraw district boundaries," August 9, 2011]</ref>
  
 
Several lawsuits were filed as a result of the new maps.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/democrats-drop-some-claims-in-redistricting-trial-pf4apb3-140293633.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Wisconsin's redistricting trial goes to judges," February 24, 2012]</ref> 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.<ref>[http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-politics/court-strikes-down-gop-redistricting-orders-just-districts-redrawn/article_f149e054-7429-11e1-a230-0019bb2963f4.html ''Wisconsin State Journal,'' "Court strikes down GOP redistricting, orders just 2 districts redrawn," March 22, 2012]</ref>
 
Several lawsuits were filed as a result of the new maps.<ref>[http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/democrats-drop-some-claims-in-redistricting-trial-pf4apb3-140293633.html ''Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,'' "Wisconsin's redistricting trial goes to judges," February 24, 2012]</ref> 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.<ref>[http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-politics/court-strikes-down-gop-redistricting-orders-just-districts-redrawn/article_f149e054-7429-11e1-a230-0019bb2963f4.html ''Wisconsin State Journal,'' "Court strikes down GOP redistricting, orders just 2 districts redrawn," March 22, 2012]</ref>
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The [[Wisconsin State Senate]] is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Together, they comprise the legislative branch of the state of Wisconsin.
 
The [[Wisconsin State Senate]] is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Together, they comprise the legislative branch of the state of Wisconsin.
  
The [[Wisconsin Constitution]] ties the size of the State Senate to that of the State Assembly, by limiting its size to no less than 1/4, nor more than 1/3, of the size of the Assembly. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 33 Senate Districts (1/3 of the current Assembly membership of 99) apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 33 senators. Each member represents an average of [[Population represented by state legislators|172,333 residents]], as of the 2010 Census.<ref>[http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013]</ref> After the 2000 Census, each member represented [[Population represented by state legislators|162,536]].<ref>[http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t2/tables/tab01.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau,'' "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001]</ref> Similar to the U.S. Senate, in addition to its duty of passing all legislation passed through the legislature, the State Senate has the exclusive responsibility of confirming certain governor's appointments, particularly cabinet secretaries (as part of the system of checks and balances) and members of boards and commissions.
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The [[Wisconsin Constitution]] ties the size of the State Senate to that of the State Assembly, by limiting its size to no less than 1/4, nor more than 1/3, of the size of the Assembly. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 33 Senate Districts (1/3 of the current Assembly membership of 99) apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 33 senators. Each member represents an average of [[Population represented by state legislators|172,333 residents]], as of the 2010 Census.<ref>[http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf ''census.gov'', "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014]</ref> After the 2000 Census, each member represented [[Population represented by state legislators|162,536]].<ref>[http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t2/tables/tab01.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau,'' "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001]</ref> Similar to the U.S. Senate, in addition to its duty of passing all legislation passed through the legislature, the State Senate has the exclusive responsibility of confirming certain governor's appointments, particularly cabinet secretaries (as part of the system of checks and balances) and members of boards and commissions.
  
 
Senators are elected for four-year terms, staggered so that half the Senate is up for election every two years. If a vacancy occurs in a Senate seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.
 
Senators are elected for four-year terms, staggered so that half the Senate is up for election every two years. If a vacancy occurs in a Senate seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.
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The [[Wisconsin State Assembly]] is the [[lower house]] of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin State Senate, the two comprise the legislative branch of Wisconsin.
 
The [[Wisconsin State Assembly]] is the [[lower house]] of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin State Senate, the two comprise the legislative branch of Wisconsin.
  
The [[Wisconsin Constitution]] limits the size of the State Assembly to between 54 and 100 members inclusive. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 99 Assembly Districts apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 99 Representatives. Each member represents an average of [[Population represented by state legislators|57,444 residents]], as of the 2010 Census.<ref>[http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013]</ref> After the 2000 Census, each member represented [[Population represented by state legislators|54,179]].<ref>[http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t2/tables/tab01.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau,'' "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001]</ref>
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The [[Wisconsin Constitution]] limits the size of the State Assembly to between 54 and 100 members inclusive. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 99 Assembly Districts apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 99 Representatives. Each member represents an average of [[Population represented by state legislators|57,444 residents]], as of the 2010 Census.<ref>[http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-01.pdf ''census.gov'', "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014]</ref> After the 2000 Census, each member represented [[Population represented by state legislators|54,179]].<ref>[http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t2/tables/tab01.pdf ''U.S. Census Bureau,'' "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001]</ref>
  
 
Representatives are elected for two year terms, elected during the fall elections. If a vacancy occurs in an Assembly seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.
 
Representatives are elected for two year terms, elected during the fall elections. If a vacancy occurs in an Assembly seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.
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==Joint committees==
 
==Joint committees==
The Wisconsin State Legislature has the following standing committees:
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::''See also:  [[Wisconsin#Policypedia| Public policy in Wisconsin]]''
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The Wisconsin State Legislature has the following standing joint committees:
  
* [[Administrative Rules Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Administrative Rules]]
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* [[Review of Administrative Rules Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Review of Administrative Rules]]
 
* [[Employment Relations Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Employment Relations]]
 
* [[Employment Relations Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Employment Relations]]
 
* [[Joint Finance Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Finance]]
 
* [[Joint Finance Committee, Wisconsin State Legislature|Finance]]
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Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
 
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
  
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
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Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
 
   
 
   
 
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the [[Governor of Wisconsin|Office of the Governor of Wisconsin]], the [[Wisconsin State Senate]] and the [[Wisconsin House of Representatives]] from 1992-2013.
 
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the [[Governor of Wisconsin|Office of the Governor of Wisconsin]], the [[Wisconsin State Senate]] and the [[Wisconsin House of Representatives]] from 1992-2013.
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====SQLI and partisanship====
 
====SQLI and partisanship====
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::''To read the full report on the [[Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, SQLI, About the Index|State Quality of Life Index]] (SQLI) in PDF form, click [[Media:WhoRunstheStates Part2 SQLI.pdf|here]].
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The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Wisconsin state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the course of the study, Wisconsin experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. The state's SQLI rankings were higher earlier in the study, with its highest ranking, finishing 7th, occurring in 1992, 1995 and 1998 during both Republican trifectas and a divided government. Its lowest ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 2007 during a divided government. The state's rankings began to improve during the most recent years of the study, finishing 13th in 2012 during a Republican trifecta.
 
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Wisconsin state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the course of the study, Wisconsin experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. The state's SQLI rankings were higher earlier in the study, with its highest ranking, finishing 7th, occurring in 1992, 1995 and 1998 during both Republican trifectas and a divided government. Its lowest ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 2007 during a divided government. The state's rankings began to improve during the most recent years of the study, finishing 13th in 2012 during a Republican trifecta.
 
*SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 21.00
 
*SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 21.00
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[[File:Wisconsin SQLI visualization.PNG|thumb|center|1000px|Chart displaying the partisanship of the Wisconsin government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).]]
 
[[File:Wisconsin SQLI visualization.PNG|thumb|center|1000px|Chart displaying the partisanship of the Wisconsin government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).]]
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==See also==
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* [[Wisconsin]]
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* [[Wisconsin House of Representatives]]
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* [[Wisconsin State Senate]]
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* [[Wisconsin state legislative districts]]
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* [[State legislative scorecards in Wisconsin]]
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* [[Governor of Wisconsin]]
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* [[Wisconsin Constitution]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
*[http://www.legis.state.wi.us/ Official Wisconsin State Legislature website]
 
*[http://www.legis.state.wi.us/ Official Wisconsin State Legislature website]
*[http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb/bb/ Legislative Reference Bureau]
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*[http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb/bb/ Legislative Reference Bureau] ''([[dead link]])''
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Legislature Wikipedia: Wisconsin Legislature]
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin_Legislature Wikipedia: Wisconsin Legislature]
  

Latest revision as of 12:58, 30 March 2015

Wisconsin State Legislature

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
General Information
Type:   State legislature
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 5, 2015
Website:   Official Legislature Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Mary Lazich (R)
House Speaker:  Robin Vos (R)
Majority Leader:   Scott Fitzgerald (R) (Senate),
Jim Steineke (R) (Assembly)
Minority Leader:   Jennifer Shilling (D) (Senate),
Peter Barca (D) (Assembly)
Structure
Members:  33 (Senate), 99 (Assembly)
Length of term:   4 years (Senate), 2 years (Assembly)
Authority:   Art IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary:   $49,943/year + per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 4, 2014
17 seats (Senate)
99 seats (Assembly)
Next election:  November 8, 2016
16 seats (Senate)
99 seats (Assembly)
Redistricting:  Wisconsin Legislature has control
The Wisconsin State Legislature is the state legislature of Wisconsin. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the lower Wisconsin State Assembly and the upper Wisconsin State Senate. It is based in Madison, Wisconsin.

As of May 2015, Wisconsin is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

See also: Wisconsin House of Representatives, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin Governor

Sessions

Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution contains provisions related to the meeting of the Legislature. Section 11 of Article IV states that the times for regular sessions are to be provided by law. Session times and dates are established by calendar, which is voted on at the beginning of each two year session. Section 11 also states that the Governor of Wisconsin has the power to call the Legislature into special session.

2015

See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions

In 2015, the Legislature will be in session from January 5 through December 31 .

Major issues

Like many states, the issue that tops the Wisconsin State Legislature's to-do list is the state's budget. Wisconsin currently faces a $2.2 million budget shortfall, and lawmakers will be forced to address the issue before any other projects. The Republican agenda will also focus on reducing the size of government, tax cuts, entitlement reform and school accountability. The Democrats, on the other hand, have emphasized their interest in focusing the debate on raising the minimum wage, income inequality and other issues Democrats say the middle class is concerned about.

Alongside those issues will be the media and some lawmaker's preoccupation with whether or not Governor Scott Walker will announce a presidential bid for 2016. But, Walker says that his ability to run for the country's highest office will largely depend on how his state fares, and so his potential bid is a motivation for the state.[1]

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through June 4.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included income tax, public school funding, health care and jobs.[2]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 7 to December 31.

Major issues

Following the extreme polarization of the last two years, Gov. Scott Walker (R) said he would push for a more moderate agenda in 2013. Alongside the creation of a new budget, main issues will include job creation, workforce development, tax cuts, education reform and transportation infrastructure.[3]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 10 through March 16 with a return for limited business on April 24.

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. Going into the session, Republican leaders said they were focused on passing bills on only four main issues - clearing the way for an ore mine in northern Wisconsin, easing laws regarding development on wetlands, environmental regulation, and creating a venture capital fund to help start-up businesses.[4]

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.

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Legislature adjourned 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. The legislature's special session will be ongoing. The regular session began on January 11. An extraordinary session was called by the Legislature from June 13-30, with another extraordinary session scheduled for July 19-29. The next scheduled floor period is September 13, 2011. Though the January special session is ongoing, special session bills may be taken up in the interim.[5]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Legislature convened its legislative session on January 19, and it ended its last scheduled floor-period on April 22.[6]

Role in state budget

See also: Wisconsin state budget and finances
Wisconsin on Horizontal-Policypedia logo-color.png
Check out Ballotpedia articles about policy in your state on:
BudgetsCivil libertiesEducationElectionsEnergyEnvironmentPensions

Wisconsin operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[7][8]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in June.
  2. State agencies submit budget requests in September.
  3. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Wisconsin State Legislature in January.
  4. The legislature adopts a budget in June or July. A simple majority is needed to pass a budget.
  5. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

Wisconsin is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[8]

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In addition, the legislature is constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.[8]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Wisconsin was one of the 10 states that used cost-benefit analysis more than the rest of the states with respect to determining return on investment regarding state programs. In addition, these states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis with respect to large budget areas and when making policy decisions.[9]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[10] According to the report, Wisconsin received a grade of A- and a numerical score of 90, indicating that Wisconsin was "leading" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[10]

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Wisconsin was given a grade of D in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[11]

Redistricting

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.[12]

2010

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin's population increased from 5.36 million to 5.69 million between 2000 and 2010.[13] This population growth was large enough to allow the state to retain its eight Congressional seats.[14]

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. 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.[15] The state Republicans unveiled their plan on July 8, 2011. Democrats criticized the plan as gerrymandering, but Republicans defended their map.[16] The maps passed the legislature on July 19, 2011, and signed into law by Governor Walker on August 9, 2011.[17]

Several lawsuits were filed as a result of the new maps.[18] 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.[19]

Senate

Interior shot of a dome inside the State Capitol building in Madison where the Wisconsin State Legislature meets.

The Wisconsin State Senate is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Together, they comprise the legislative branch of the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Constitution ties the size of the State Senate to that of the State Assembly, by limiting its size to no less than 1/4, nor more than 1/3, of the size of the Assembly. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 33 Senate Districts (1/3 of the current Assembly membership of 99) apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 33 senators. Each member represents an average of 172,333 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[20] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 162,536.[21] Similar to the U.S. Senate, in addition to its duty of passing all legislation passed through the legislature, the State Senate has the exclusive responsibility of confirming certain governor's appointments, particularly cabinet secretaries (as part of the system of checks and balances) and members of boards and commissions.

Senators are elected for four-year terms, staggered so that half the Senate is up for election every two years. If a vacancy occurs in a Senate seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.

Partisan composition

Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 14
     Republican Party 19
Total 33


The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Wisconsin State Senate from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the Wisconsin State Senate.PNG

State Assembly

The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin State Senate, the two comprise the legislative branch of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Constitution limits the size of the State Assembly to between 54 and 100 members inclusive. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 99 Assembly Districts apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 99 Representatives. Each member represents an average of 57,444 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[22] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 54,179.[23]

Representatives are elected for two year terms, elected during the fall elections. If a vacancy occurs in an Assembly seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election.

Partisan composition

Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 36
     Republican Party 63
Total 99

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the Wisconsin State House.PNG

Legislators

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Wisconsin Legislature 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.[24]

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.

Joint committees

See also: Public policy in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin State Legislature has the following standing joint committees:

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Wisconsin
Partisan breakdown of the Wisconsin legislature from 1992-2013

Wisconsin State Senate: From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Wisconsin State Senate for 11 years while the Republicans were the majority for 11 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Wisconsin senate with all three years being Republican trifectas

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Wisconsin State House: From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Wisconsin State House of Representatives for 5 years while the Republicans were the majority for 17 years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Wisconsin House with all three years being Republican trifectas.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin State Senate and the Wisconsin House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Wisconsin state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

To read the full report on the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI) in PDF form, click here.

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Wisconsin state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the course of the study, Wisconsin experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas as well as divided governments. The state's SQLI rankings were higher earlier in the study, with its highest ranking, finishing 7th, occurring in 1992, 1995 and 1998 during both Republican trifectas and a divided government. Its lowest ranking, finishing 30th, occurred in 2007 during a divided government. The state's rankings began to improve during the most recent years of the study, finishing 13th in 2012 during a Republican trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 21.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 10.00
  • SQLI average with divided government: 17.27
Chart displaying the partisanship of the Wisconsin government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

External links

References

  1. Scott Bauer, The Washington Times, "Walker, Legislature focusing on budget problem in 2015," January 3, 2015
  2. Wisconsin Realtors Association, "2014 Election Themes Take Shape," accessed January 14, 2014
  3. Wisconsin State Journal, "With state bitterly divided, Walker promises more moderate agenda," January 7, 2013
  4. Appleton Post Crescent, "Wisconsin legislative agenda influenced by negative effects of recalls," January 16, 2012
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," December 19, 2011
  6. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Sessions Calendar," December 8, 2010
  7. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  9. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  11. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  12. Wisconsin Legislature, "Wisconsin Redistricting Profile," accessed August 9, 2014
  13. U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Wisconsin Profile," accessed August 9, 2014
  14. Northland's News Center, "Minnesota and Wisconsin Both to Keep Eight Seats in House," December 21, 2010
  15. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Walker allows new legislative mapping, doesn't OK actual maps yet," July 25, 2011
  16. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Parties joust over Wisconsin redistricting plan," July 13, 2011
  17. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Walker signs legislation to redraw district boundaries," August 9, 2011
  18. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's redistricting trial goes to judges," February 24, 2012
  19. Wisconsin State Journal, "Court strikes down GOP redistricting, orders just 2 districts redrawn," March 22, 2012
  20. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  21. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001
  22. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  23. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001
  24. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013