Wisconsin State Assembly

Last updated

Wisconsin State Assembly
Wisconsin State Legislature
Seal of Wisconsin.svg
Term limits
New session started
January 7, 2019
Speaker of the Assembly
Robin Vos (R)
since January 7, 2013
Speaker pro tempore
Tyler August (R)
since October 8, 2013
Majority Leader
Jim Steineke (R)
since January 5, 2015
Minority Leader
Gordon Hintz (D)
since October 1, 2017
Wisconsin Assembly 1-17-18.svg
Political groups


Length of term
2 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary$50,950/year + $153 per diem
Last election
November 6, 2018
(99 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(99 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
State Assembly Chamber
Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Assembly

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.

Lower house chamber of a bicameral legislature

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

Wisconsin Legislature State legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin

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.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.


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.

The Wisconsin Constitution limits the size of the State Assembly to between 54 and 100 members inclusive. Since 1973, the state has been divided into 99 Assembly districts apportioned amongst the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 99 representatives. From 1848 to 1853 there were 66 assembly districts; from 1854 to 1856, 82 districts; from 1857 to 1861, 97 districts; and from 1862 to 1972, 100 districts. [1] The size of the Wisconsin State Senate is tied to the size of the Assembly; it must be between one-fourth and one-third the size of the Assembly. Presently, the Senate has 33 members, with each Senate district formed by combining three neighboring Assembly districts.

Wisconsin State Senate

The Wisconsin Senate is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Together with the larger Wisconsin State Assembly they constitute the legislative branch of the state of Wisconsin. The powers of the Wisconsin Senate are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate.

The Assembly is heavily gerrymandered, [2] [3] with a 54% - 46% Democratic majority in the popular vote translating into a 64 - 36 Republican majority in the Assembly. [4] [5] According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, many experts recognise Wisconsin as the most gerymandered state in the US, [6] a claim rated "Mostly True" by Politifact. [7]

Gerrymandering manipulation of electoral borders to favor certain electoral outcomes

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.

<i>Oshkosh Northwestern</i> United States historic place

The Oshkosh Northwestern is a daily newspaper based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Assembly chamber is located in the west wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol building, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin State Capitol United States historic place

The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed in 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature convened in 1836 and the third building since Wisconsin was granted statehood in 1848. The Wisconsin State Capitol is the tallest building in Madison, a distinction that has been preserved by legislation that prohibits buildings taller than the columns surrounding the dome. The Capitol is located at the southwestern end of the Madison Isthmus. The streets surrounding the building form the Capitol Square, which is home to many restaurants and shops.

Madison, Wisconsin Capital of Wisconsin

Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the seat of Dane County. As of July 1, 2018, Madison's estimated population of 258,054 made it the second-largest city in Wisconsin by population, after Milwaukee, and the 81st-largest in the United States. The city forms the core of the Madison Metropolitan Area which includes Dane County and neighboring Iowa, Green, and Columbia counties for a population of 654,230.


On July 8, 2015 a case was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin arguing that Wisconsin's 2011 state assembly map was unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering favoring the Republican-controlled legislature which discriminated against Democratic voters. This case became filed with the court as Whitford v Gill. [8] The case made it to the United States Supreme Court, which vacated and remanded the case. The Supreme Court held that the plaintiff challenging the state assembly map did not have standing to sue, and therefore, the state assembly map was constitutional. In the Opinion of the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that "[a] federal court is not 'a forum for generalized grievances," and the requirement of such a personal stake 'ensures that courts exercise power that is judicial in nature." Gill v. Whitford, 128 S.Ct. 1916 (2018). We enforce that requirement by insisting that a plaintiff [have] Article III standing..." Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Gorsuch joined. [9]

United States district court type of court of the United States federal court system

The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court. Each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, and many districts have more than one. The formal name of a district court is "the United States District Court for" the name of the district—for example, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin is a federal court in the Seventh Circuit.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Salary and benefits

Desks and voting board Wisconsin State Assembly Chairs and Electronic Vote Board.jpg
Desks and voting board

Representatives elected or re-elected in the fall of 2016 receive an annual salary of $50,950. [10]

In addition to their salaries, representatives outside Dane County may receive up to $88 per day in living expenses while in Madison on state business. Members of the Dane County delegation are allowed up to $44 per day in expenses. Each representative also receives $75 per 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.

According to a 1960 study, at that time Assembly salaries and benefits were so low that in Milwaukee County, positions on the County Board of Supervisors and the Milwaukee Common Council were considered more desirable than seats in the Assembly, and an average of 23% of Milwaukee legislators did not seek re-election. This pattern was not seen to hold to the same extent in the rest of the state, where local offices tended to pay less well. [11]

Current session


(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Total
Begin of 101st legislature (2013)5939981
End 101st (2014)60990
Begin 102nd (2015)6336990
End 102nd (2016)
Begin 103rd (2017)6435990
End 103rd (2018)
Begin 104th (2019)6336990
Latest voting share


Speaker Robin Vos Republican
Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August Republican
Majority Leader Jim Steineke Republican
Assistant Majority Leader Mary Felzkowski Republican
Majority Caucus Chair Dan Knodl Republican
Minority Leader Gordon Hintz Democratic
Assistant Minority Leader Dianne Hesselbein Democratic
Minority Caucus Chair Mark Spreitzer Democratic
Chief ClerkPatrick Fuller
Sergeant-at-Arms Anne Tonnon Byers


The corresponding state senate districts are shown as a senate district is formed by nesting three assembly districts.

RepresentativePartyCurrent AgeResidenceFirst Elected
1 1 Joel Kitchens Rep62 Sturgeon Bay 2014
2 Shae Sortwell Rep34 Two Rivers 2018
3 Ron Tusler Rep35 Appleton 2016
2 4 David Steffen Rep47 Howard 2014
5 Jim Steineke Rep48 Kaukauna 2010
6 Gary Tauchen Rep65 Bonduel 2006
3 7 Daniel Riemer Dem32 Milwaukee 2012
8 JoCasta Zamarripa Dem43 Milwaukee 2010
9 Marisabel Cabrera Dem43 Milwaukee 2018
4 10 David Bowen Dem32 Milwaukee 2014
11 Jason Fields Dem45 Milwaukee 2016
12 LaKeshia Myers Dem35 Milwaukee 2018
5 13 Rob Hutton Rep52 Brookfield 2012
14 Robyn Vining Dem42 Wauwatosa 2018
15 Joe Sanfelippo Rep55 New Berlin 2012
6 16 Kalan Haywood Dem20 Milwaukee 2018
17 David Crowley Dem33 Milwaukee 2016
18 Evan Goyke Dem36 Milwaukee 2012
7 19 Jonathan Brostoff Dem36 Milwaukee 2014
20 Christine Sinicki Dem59 Bay View 1998
21 Jessie Rodriguez Rep42 Franklin 2013
8 22 Janel Brandtjen Rep53 Waukesha 2014
23 Jim Ott Rep72 Mequon 2006
24 Dan Knodl Rep60 Germantown 2008
9 25 Paul Tittl Rep57 Manitowoc 2012
26 Terry Katsma Rep61 Oostburg 2014
27 Tyler Vorpagel Rep34 Plymouth 2014
10 28 Gae Magnafici Rep67 Dresser 2018
29 Rob Stafsholt Rep43 New Richmond 2016
30 Shannon Zimmerman Rep47 River Falls 2016
11 31 Amy Loudenbeck Rep50 Clinton 2010
32 Tyler August Rep36 Walworth 2010
33 Cody Horlacher Rep32 Mukwonago 2014
12 34 Rob Swearingen Rep56 Rhinelander 2012
35 Mary Felzkowski Rep56 Irma 2012
36 Jeffrey Mursau Rep65 Crivitz 2004
13 37 John Jagler Rep50 Watertown 2012
38 Barbara Dittrich Rep55 Oconomowoc 2018
39 Mark Born Rep43 Beaver Dam 2012
14 40 Kevin David Petersen Rep54 Waupaca 2006
41 Joan Ballweg Rep67 Markesan 2004
42 Jon Plumer Rep64 Lodi 2018
15 43 Don Vruwink Dem67 Milton 2016
44 Debra Kolste Dem66 Janesville 2012
45 Mark Spreitzer Dem32 Beloit 2014
16 46 Gary Hebl Dem68 Sun Prairie 2004
47 Jimmy P. Anderson Dem33 Fitchburg 2016
48 Melissa Sargent Dem50 Madison 2012
17 49 Travis Tranel Rep34 Cuba City 2010
50 Tony Kurtz Rep52 Wonewoc 2018
51 Todd Novak Rep54 Dodgeville 2014
18 52 Jeremy Thiesfeldt Rep52 Fond du Lac 2010
53 Michael Schraa Rep58 Oshkosh 2012
54 Gordon Hintz Dem45 Oshkosh 2006
19 55 Mike Rohrkaste Rep61 Neenah 2014
56 Dave Murphy Rep64 Greenville 2012
57 Amanda Stuck Dem33 Appleton 2014
20 58 Rick Gundrum Rep54 Slinger 2018
59 Timothy Ramthun Rep62 Campbellsport 2018
60 Robert Brooks Rep54 Saukville 2011
21 61 Samantha Kerkman Rep45 Powers Lake 2000
62 Robert Wittke Rep62 Racine 2018
63 Robin Vos Rep51 Rochester 2004
22 64 Tip McGuire Dem Somers 2019
65 Tod Ohnstad Dem67 Kenosha 2012
66 Greta Neubauer Dem28 Racine 2018
23 67 Rob Summerfield Rep39 Bloomer 2016
68 Jesse James Rep47 Altoona 2018
69 Bob Kulp Rep53 Stratford 2013
24 70 Nancy VanderMeer Rep60 Tomah 2014
71 Katrina Shankland Dem32 Stevens Point 2012
72 Scott Krug Rep44 Wisconsin Rapids 2010
25 73 Nick Milroy Dem45 Superior 2008
74 Beth Meyers Dem60 Bayfield 2014
75 Romaine Quinn Rep29 Rice Lake 2014
26 76 Chris Taylor Dem51 Madison 2011
77 Shelia Stubbs Dem Madison 2018
78 Lisa Subeck Dem48 Madison 2014
27 79 Dianne Hesselbein Dem48 Middleton 2012
80 Sondy Pope Dem69 Mount Horeb 2002
81 Dave Considine Dem67 Baraboo 2014
28 82 Ken Skowronski Rep81 Franklin 2013
83 Chuck Wichgers Rep54 Muskego 2016
84 Mike Kuglitsch Rep59 New Berlin 2010
29 85 Patrick Snyder Rep63 Schofield 2016
86 John Spiros Rep58 Marshfield 2012
87 James Edming Rep73 Glen Flora 2014
30 88 John Macco Rep61 De Pere 2014
89 John Nygren Rep55 Marinette 2006
90 Staush Gruszynski Dem34 Green Bay 2018
31 91 Jodi Emerson Dem46 Eau Claire 2018
92 Treig Pronschinske Rep52 Mondovi 2016
93 Warren Petryk Rep64 Eleva 2010
32 94 Steve Doyle Dem61 Onalaska 2011
95 Jill Billings Dem57 La Crosse 2011
96 Loren Oldenburg Rep54 Viroqua 2018
33 97 Scott Allen Rep53 Waukesha 2014
98 Adam Neylon Rep34 Pewaukee 2013
99 Cindi Duchow Rep60 Delafield 2015


Past composition of the Assembly

See also

Related Research Articles

Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries in the United States. A congressional act passed in 1967 requires that representatives be elected from single-member districts, except when a state has a single representative, in which case one state-wide at-large election be held.

Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the electoral districts of state legislative chambers must be roughly equal in population. Along with Baker v. Carr (1962) and Wesberry v. Sanders (1964), it was part of a series of Warren Court cases that applied the principle of "one person, one vote" to U.S. legislative bodies.

Diane Schwerm Sykes is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and former Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S. 399 (2006), is a Supreme Court of the United States case in which the Court ruled that only District 23 of the 2003 Texas redistricting violated the Voting Rights Act. The Court refused to throw out the entire plan, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to state a sufficient claim of partisan gerrymandering.

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Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004), was a case heard before the United States Supreme Court. The ruling was significant in the area of partisan redistricting and political gerrymandering. The court, in a plurality decision by Justice Antonin Scalia and joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas, with Justice Anthony Kennedy concurring in the judgment, upheld the ruling of the District Court in favor of the appellees that the alleged political gerrymandering was not unconstitutional.

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  1. Wisconsin Blue Book, 1991 , p. 229.
  2. Wisconsin Is About to Make a Huge Mistake, New York Times
  3. New election data highlights the ongoing impact of 2011 GOP redistricting in Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel
  4. Election Shows How Gerrymandering Is Difficult to Overcome, US News
  5. No Contest, Isthmus
  6. Many experts recognize Wisconsin as the most gerrymandered state in the country Oshkosh Northwestern
  7. On whether Wisconsin is the most gerrymandered state, Politifact
  8. "Whitford v. Gill | Brennan Center for Justice". www.brennancenter.org. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  9. "Gill v. Whitford". SCOTUS blog. Retrieved February 9, 2019.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. "Salaries of Elected Officials Effective January 2017" (PDF). Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  11. Hagensick, A. Clarke. "Influences of Partisanship and Incumbency on a Nonpartisan Election System". The Western Political Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 1 (March 1964), pp. 117–124.