Wisconsin State Legislature
|Houses|| Senate |
Senate Majority Leader
Assembly Majority Leader
Senate political groups
Assembly political groups
|Authority||Article IV, Wisconsin Constitution|
|Salary||$50,950 + $153 per diem|
Senate last election
|November 3, 2020|
Assembly last election
|November 3, 2020|
Senate next election
|November 8, 2022|
Assembly next election
|November 8, 2022|
|Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison|
The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin State Senate and the lower Wisconsin State Assembly, both of which have had Republican majorities since January 2011. With both houses combined, the legislature has 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. The Legislature convenes at the state capitol in Madison.
The land that would become Wisconsin became part of the United States in 1783 and was first organized under the Northwest Ordinance. It became the Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and the state of Wisconsin on May 29, 1848.The 1850s saw an influx of European immigrants.
Women's rights groups in support of temperance and suffrage formed in Wisconsin in the 1860s.The Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Association was formed in 1869. Suffrage bills were introduced in 1855 and 1867 but both failed. However, the state legislature did pass a law allowing women to run for school boards and elective school offices in 1869. It was not until June 10, 1919, that Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment granting national suffrage to women.
Wisconsin was dominated alternately by the Republican and Progressive parties in the first century of its existence, but has been more competitive since then. The Republicans gained majority control in both houses in the 1995 Legislature, the first time since 1969. In 2009, the Democratic Party gained control of both houses for the first time since 1993.
The Republican Party took back control of both houses in 2011.Governor Scott Walker then signed a new redistricting plan. In 2012 elections, Democrats won a majority of the vote but Republicans retained control of the legislature, taking 60 of the 99 seats in the Assembly. In Wisconsin elections, 2016, Republicans secured their largest majority in the Assembly since 1956.
On November 21, 2016, U.S. Circuit Judge Kenneth Francis Ripple, joined by District Judge Barbara Brandriff Crabb, held that the Republicans' 2011 redistricting was unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering, over a dissent by District Judge William C. Griesbach.The court found that the 2011 redistricting plan created three times as many wasted votes as the national average, violating the United States Constitution’s guarantee of one man, one vote.
The Wisconsin State Assembly elections of 2018 were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. All 99 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly were up for election. The Republican Party maintained a majority it has held since 2011,winning 63 seats, a loss of one seat, and 44.75% of the voting share.
To serve in the Wisconsin Legislature, individuals must be a resident of the state for at least one year preceding his or her election and be a qualified elector in the district they are elected to represent.
All 99 members of the Wisconsin Assembly are elected in a two year term cycle without term limits. Similarly, all 33 members of the Wisconsin Senate are elected in a four year cycle, also without term limits.Half of the Senate is elected every two years. Prior to an amendment in the Wisconsin Constitution in 1881, Assembly members served a one year term, while Senators were elected every two years. The 100th Wisconsin Legislature began on January 3, 2011.
Members of both houses of the Legislature vote within their ranks to select presiding officers, such as the Speaker of the Assembly and the President of the Senate. These high level positions reflect the party majority in both chambers. An amendment to the state constitution in 1979 removed the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin as the presiding officer of the Senate, allowing Senators to vote within their ranks for a chamber president. Similarly, majority and minority leaders are also selected by party strength in the legislative houses and within their own respective caucus.
Legislators receive an annual salary of $49,943 and a per diem of up to $88 to cover living expenses when they are in Dane County, Wisconsin on state business, unless their district is in Dane County. Members of the Madison delegation may receive a per diem up to $44 to cover expenses. Legislators also receive $75 per month in "out-of-session" pay when the Legislature is in session for three days or less. Over two years, each legislator is allotted $66,008 to cover general office expenses, printing, postage and district mailings. [ citation needed ]
In both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature, a quorum is defined as a majority of current members. The majority of a quorum is needed to pass legislation on the floor of the chamber.Three-fifths of the members elected is the quorum necessary for passage or concurrence in either house of any fiscal bill. Proposals may not be introduced or offered unless they are put in proper form by the legislative reference staff if requested by members or members-elect of the legislature.
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral systems.
A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the "requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons." In contrast, a plenum is a meeting of the full body.
The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.
The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin Senate, the two constitute the legislative branch of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.
An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state created to provide its population with representation in the larger state's legislative body. That body, or the state's constitution or a body established for that purpose, determines each district's boundaries and whether each will be represented by a single member or multiple members. Generally, only voters (constituents) who reside within the district are permitted to vote in an election held there. District representatives may be elected by a first-past-the-post system, a proportional representative system, or another voting method. They may be selected by a direct election under universal suffrage, an indirect election, or another form of suffrage.
The Illinois General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois and comprises the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. The General Assembly was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The State Senate has 59 members while the House has 118 members, each elected from single-member districts. A Senate district is formed by combining two adjacent House districts. The current General Assembly is Illinois's 101st. The General Assembly meets in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Its session laws are generally adopted by majority vote in both houses, and upon gaining the assent of the Governor of Illinois. They are published in the official Laws of Illinois.
The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade state plan that defined new Congressional districts. In the 2004 elections, this redistricting supported the Republicans taking a majority of Texas's House seats for the first time since Reconstruction. Opponents challenged the plan in three suits, combined when the case went to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006).
The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election cycle. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is currently headed by chair Ben Wikler.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members introduce and vote on bills and resolutions, provide legislative oversight for state agencies, and help to craft the state's budget. The upper house of the Oklahoma Legislature is the Oklahoma Senate.
The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution.
California is the most populous U.S. state and as a result has the most representation in the United States House of Representatives, with 53 Representatives. Each Representative represents one congressional district.
Virginia is currently divided into 11 congressional districts, each represented by a member of the United States House of Representatives. The districts were redrawn most recently in 2016 by court order.
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician and one-time newspaper publisher. He is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represents Wisconsin's 5th congressional district. He previously was a longtime member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District from 1995 to 2021. In the wake of the 2018 elections when Democratic candidates were elected to the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state in Wisconsin, Fitzgerald pushed for legislation to remove powers from the incoming Democratic administration.
Gerrymandering in the United States has been used to increase the power of a political party. The term "gerrymandering" was coined by a review of Massachusetts's redistricting maps of 1812 set by Governor Elbridge Gerry that was named because one of the districts looked like a salamander.
Redistricting in California has historically been highly controversial. Critics have accused legislators of attempting to protect themselves from competition by gerrymandering districts. Conflicts between the governor and the legislature during redistricting often have only been resolved by the courts.
The 2020 United States redistricting cycle will take place following the completion of the 2020 United States Census. In all fifty states, various bodies will re-draw state legislative districts. States that are apportioned more than one seat in the United States House of Representatives will also draw new districts for that legislative body.
Gill v. Whitford, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), was a United States Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering. Other forms of gerrymandering based on racial or ethnic grounds have been deemed unconstitutional, and while the Supreme Court has identified that extreme partisan gerrymandering can also be unconstitutional, the Court has not agreed on how this can be defined, leaving the question to lower courts to decide.
REDMAP is a project of the Republican State Leadership Committee of the United States to increase Republican control of congressional seats as well as state legislators, largely through determination of electoral district boundaries. The project has made effective use of partisan gerrymandering, by relying on previously unavailable mapping software such as Maptitude to improve the precision with which district lines are strategically drawn. The strategy was focused on swing blue states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin where there was a Democratic majority but which they could swing towards Republican with appropriate redistricting. The project was launched in 2010 and estimated to have cost the Republican party around US$30 million .
The Wisconsin State Assembly elections of 2018 were held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. All 99 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly were up for election. The Republican Party maintained a majority it has held since 2011, winning 63 seats, a loss of one seat, and 44.75% of the voting share. Despite winning a majority of ballots cast, the Democratic Party won only 36 seats, thus remaining a minority and gaining just one seat from the Republicans, district 14. Democratic votes were concentrated in urban areas such as Milwaukee and Madison, while Republicans garnered votes in more rural areas, which has been widely attributed to the impact of gerrymandering in the post-2010 state redistricting. Based on the 2018 results, the tipping point district was District 29, which the Republicans won by a margin of 12.12%, therefore Democrats would have needed to win the statewide popular vote by a margin of 20.36% to win a majority of seats.