Wisconsin State Assembly
|Wisconsin State Legislature|
New session started
|January 7, 2019|
Speaker of the Assembly
Speaker pro tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article IV, Wisconsin Constitution|
|Salary||$50,950/year + $153 per diem|
| November 6, 2018 |
|November 3, 2020|
|State Assembly Chamber|
Wisconsin State Capitol
|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.
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.
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.
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.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.
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,with a 54% - 46% Democratic majority in the popular vote translating into a 64 - 36 Republican majority in the Assembly. According to the Oshkosh Northwestern, many experts recognise Wisconsin as the most gerymandered state in the US, a claim rated "Mostly True" by Politifact.
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.
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.
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 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.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.
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.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin is a federal court in the Seventh Circuit.
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.
Representatives elected or re-elected in the fall of 2016 receive an annual salary of $50,950.
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.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|Begin of 101st legislature (2013)||59||39||98||1|
|End 101st (2014)||60||99||0|
|Begin 102nd (2015)||63||36||99||0|
|End 102nd (2016)|
|Begin 103rd (2017)||64||35||99||0|
|End 103rd (2018)|
|Begin 104th (2019)||63||36||99||0|
|Latest voting share||63.6%||36.4%|
|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 Clerk||Patrick 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.
|Representative||Party||Current Age||Residence||First Elected|
|1||1||Joel Kitchens||Rep||62||Sturgeon Bay||2014|
|2||Shae Sortwell||Rep||34||Two Rivers||2018|
|15||Joe Sanfelippo||Rep||55||New Berlin||2012|
|20||Christine Sinicki||Dem||59||Bay View||1998|
|29||Rob Stafsholt||Rep||43||New Richmond||2016|
|30||Shannon Zimmerman||Rep||47||River Falls||2016|
|39||Mark Born||Rep||43||Beaver Dam||2012|
|14||40||Kevin David Petersen||Rep||54||Waupaca||2006|
|16||46||Gary Hebl||Dem||68||Sun Prairie||2004|
|47||Jimmy P. Anderson||Dem||33||Fitchburg||2016|
|17||49||Travis Tranel||Rep||34||Cuba City||2010|
|18||52||Jeremy Thiesfeldt||Rep||52||Fond du Lac||2010|
|21||61||Samantha Kerkman||Rep||45||Powers Lake||2000|
|71||Katrina Shankland||Dem||32||Stevens Point||2012|
|72||Scott Krug||Rep||44||Wisconsin Rapids||2010|
|75||Romaine Quinn||Rep||29||Rice Lake||2014|
|80||Sondy Pope||Dem||69||Mount Horeb||2002|
|84||Mike Kuglitsch||Rep||59||New Berlin||2010|
|87||James Edming||Rep||73||Glen Flora||2014|
|30||88||John Macco||Rep||61||De Pere||2014|
|90||Staush Gruszynski||Dem||34||Green Bay||2018|
|31||91||Jodi Emerson||Dem||46||Eau Claire||2018|
|95||Jill Billings||Dem||57||La Crosse||2011|
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.
The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is the legislative branch of the government of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. Supervisors are elected to the board in nonpartisan elections. There are 18 supervisors. The county board has several committees and votes on issues involving the county, such as the budget.
Frederick P. Kessler is an American lawyer, arbitrator, and former judge who has served as a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 12th Assembly District since 2004. Earlier he served from 1960 through 1962, and from 1964 through 1970.
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.
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician and one-time newspaper publisher. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.
Sandra (Sandy) Pasch is an American nurse from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin who was a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, from 2009-2015.
Leah Vukmir is a former member of the Wisconsin Senate and pediatric nurse practitioner. A Republican, she represented Wisconsin's 5th District. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly. Vukmir was the Republican nominee in the 2018 U.S. Senate election in Wisconsin, running unsuccessfully against incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin. In March 2019, Vukmir became vice president of state affairs at the National Taxpayers Union.
George E. Page was an American politician from Milwaukee County, Wisconsin who served one term in the Wisconsin State Assembly, and one as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate representing the Milwaukee County-based 7th Senate district.
Gerrymandering is the practice of setting boundaries of electoral districts to favor specific political interests within legislative bodies, often resulting in districts with convoluted, winding boundaries rather than compact areas. Gerrymandering in the United States has been used as early as 1788 to increase the power of a political party; the term "gerrymandering" was coined on review of Massachusetts's redistricting maps of 1812 set by Governor Elbridge Gerry, so named for its resemblance to a salamander.
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.
Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, 580 U.S. ___ (2017), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court evaluated whether Virginia's legislature violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by considering racial demographics when drawing the boundaries of twelve of the state's legislative districts.
Benisek v. Lamone, 585 U.S. ____ (2018), and Lamone v. Benisek, 588 U.S. ____ (2019) were cases before the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with the topic of partisan gerrymandering arising from the 2011 Democratic party-favored redistricting of Maryland. At the center of the cases was Maryland's 6th district which historically favored Republicans and which was redrawn in 2011 to swing the political majority to Democratic via vote dilution. Affected voters filed suit, stating that the redistricting violated their right of representation under Article One, Section Two of the U.S. Constitution and freedom of association of the First Amendment.
Rucho v. Common Cause, No. 18-422, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), is a landmark case of the United States Supreme Court concerning partisan gerrymandering. The Court ruled that while partisan gerrymandering may be "incompatible with democratic principles", the federal courts cannot review such allegations, as they present nonjusticiable political questions outside the remit of these courts.
The Fifth Wisconsin Legislature convened from January 14, 1852, to April 19, 1852, in regular session. Senators representing even-numbered districts were newly elected for this session and were serving the first year of a two-year term. Assemblymembers were elected to a one-year term. Assemblymembers and even-numbered senators were elected in the general election of November 4, 1851. Senators representing odd-numbered districts were serving the second year of their two-year term, having been elected in the general election held on November 5, 1850.
Redistricting in North Carolina has been a controversial topic due to allegations of gerrymandering.