SECTION 1. [Legislative power.] The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and assembly.
SECTION 2. [Legislature, how constituted.] The number of the members of the assembly shall never be less than fifty-four nor more than one hundred. The senate shall consist of a number not more than one-third nor less than one-fourth of the number of the members of the assembly.
SECTION 3. [Apportionment.] At its first session after each enumeration made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall apportion and district anew the members of the senate and assembly, according to the number of inhabitants.
SECTION 4. [Representatives to the assembly, how chosen.] The members of the assembly shall be chosen biennially, by single districts, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November in even-numbered years, by the qualified electors of the several districts, such districts to be bounded by county, precinct, town or ward lines, to consist of contiguous territory and be in as compact form as practicable.
SECTION 5. [Senators, how chosen.] The senators shall be elected by single districts of convenient contiguous territory, at the same time and in the same manner as members of the assembly are required to be chosen; and no assembly district shall be divided in the formation of a senate district. The senate districts shall be numbered in the regular series, and the senators shall be chosen alternately from the odd and even-numbered districts for the term of 4 years.
SECTION 6. [Qualifications of legislators.] No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year within the state, and be a qualified elector in the district which he may be chosen to represent.
SECTION 7. [Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory attendance.] Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
SECTION 8. [Rules; contempts; expulsion.] Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt and disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same cause.
SECTION 9. [Officers.] Each house shall choose its presiding officers from its own members.
SECTION 10. [Journals; open doors; adjournments.] Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each house shall be kept open except when the public welfare shall require secrecy. Neither house shall, without consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days.
SECTION 11. [Meeting of legislature.] The legislature shall meet at the seat of government at such time as shall be provided by law, unless convened by the governor in special session, and when so convened no business shall be transacted except as shall be necessary to accomplish the special purposes for which it was convened.
SECTION 12. [Ineligibility of legislators to office.] No member of the legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office in the state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the term for which he was elected.
SECTION 13. [Ineligibility of federal officers.] No person being a member of congress, or holding any military or civil office under the United States, shall be eligible to a seat in the legislature; and if any person shall, after his election as a member of the legislature, be elected to congress, or be appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of the United States, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat. This restriction shall not prohibit a legislator from accepting short periods of active duty as a member of the reserve or from serving in the armed forces during any emergency declared by the executive.
SECTION 14. [Filling vacancies.] The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature.
SECTION 15. [Exemption from arrest and civil process.] Members of the legislature shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest; nor shall they be subject to any civil process, during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement and after the termination of each session.
SECTION 16. [Privilege in debate.] No member of the legislature shall be liable in any civil action, or criminal prosecution whatever, for words spoken in debate.
SECTION 17. [Enactment of laws.]
SECTION 18. [Title of private bills.] No private or local bill which may be passed by the legislature shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.
SECTION 19. [Origin of bills.] Any bill may originate in either house of the legislature, and a bill passed by one house may be amended by the other.
SECTION 20. [Yeas and nays.] The yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall, at the request of one-sixth of those present, be entered on the journal.
SECTION 22. [Powers of county boards.] The legislature may confer upon the boards of supervisors of the several counties of the state such powers of a local, legislative and administrative character as they shall from time to time prescribe.
SECTION 23. [Town and county government.] The legislature shall establish but one system of town government, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; but the legislature may provide for the election at large once in every 4 years of a chief executive officer in any county with such powers of an administrative character as they may from time to time prescribe in accordance with this section and shall establish one or more systems of county govemment.
SECTION 23a. [Chief executive officer to approve or veto resolutions or ordinances; proceedings on veto.] Every resolution or ordinance passed by the county board in any county shall, before it becomes effective, be presented to the chief executive officer. If he approves, he shall sign it; if not, he shall return it with his objections, which objections shall be entered at large upon the journal and the board shall proceed to reconsider the matter. Appropriations may be approved in whole or in part by the chief executive officer and the part approved shall become law, and the part objected to shall be returned in the same manner as provided for in other resolutions or ordinances. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members-elect of the county board agree to pass the resolution or ordinance or the part of the resolution or ordinance objected to, it shall become effective on the date prescribed but not earlier than the date of passage following reconsideration. In all such cases, the votes of the members of the county board shall be determined by ayes and noes and the names of the members voting for or against the resolution or ordinance or the part thereof objected to shall be entered on the journal. If any resolution or ordinance is not returned by the chief executive officer to the county board at its first meeting occurring not less than 6 days, Sundays excepted, after it has been presented to him, it shall become effective unless the county board has recessed or adjourned for a period in excess of 60 days, in which case it shall not be effective without his approval.
SECTION 24. [Gambling.]
SECTION 25. [Stationery and printing.] The legislature shall provide by law that all stationery required for the use of the state, and all printing authorized and required by them to be done for their use, or for the state, shall be let by contract to the lowest bidder, but the legislature may establish a maximum price; no member of the legislature or other state officer shall be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any such contract.
SECTION 27. [Suits against state.] The legislature shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the state.
SECTION 28. [Oath of office.] Members of the legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability.
SECTION 29. [Militia.] The legislature shall determine what persons shall constitute the militia of the state, and may provide for organizing and disciplining the same in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
SECTION 30. [Elections by legislature.] All elections made by the legislature shall be by roll call vote entered in the journals.
SECTION 31. [Special and private laws prohibited.] The
legislature is prohibited from enacting any special or private laws in the
SECTION 32. [General laws on enumerated subjects.] The legislature may provide by general law for the treatment of any subject for which lawmaking is prohibited by section 31 of this article. Subject to reasonable classifications, such laws shall be uniform in their operation throughout the state.
SECTION 33. [Auditing of state accounts.] The legislature shall provide for the auditing of state accounts and may establish such offices and prescribe such duties for the same as it shall deem necessary.
SECTION 34. [Continuity of civil government.] The legislature, in order to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from enemy action in the form of an attack, shall (1) forthwith provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices, and (2) adopt such other measures as may be necessary and proper for attaining the objectives of this section.
Revised March 2, 2000.