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Wisconsin State Legislature
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.
The Wisconsin 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. 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.
Democrats currently control the chamber by an 18-15 margin.
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 the U.S. state 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.
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.
Republicans currently control the chamber by a slim 52-47 margin.
Salary and benefits
Representatives and Senators elected or re-elected in the fall of 2002 will draw $45,569 a year in salary.
In addition to their salaries, Representatives and Senators outside Dane County may receive up to $88 a day each in living expenses while they are in Madison on state business. Members of the Dane County delegation are allowed up to $44 each in expenses.
Each member also receives $75 a month in "out-of-session" pay when the Legislature is in session for three days or less.
Over two years, each representative is allotted $12,000 to cover general office expenses, printing, postage and district mailings, while each senator receives $66,008.