September 1, 2020 •

Wisconsin Lawmakers Convene and Leave Session Open

Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin Capitol - photo by Dori

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31. The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session. No Senate Republicans were present for […]

Wisconsin lawmakers convened the special session called by Gov. Tony Evers on August 31.

The session met for less than a minute and adjourned until September 3, in what is termed a skeletal session.

No Senate Republicans were present for the session.

Wisconsin law does not require lawmakers to take any action during a special session.

The session is adjourned for three days to comply with the constitutional requirement that neither house may adjourn without the consent of the other for more than 3 days.

They may continue in this manner until both houses agree on a course of action or to adjourn sine die.

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August 27, 2020 •

Wisconsin Governor Calls Special Session

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling the legislature into special session. The main topic will be to consider a package of nine bills introduced in June relating to police reform in the wake of recent protests. The special session is […]

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is calling the legislature into special session.

The main topic will be to consider a package of nine bills introduced in June relating to police reform in the wake of recent protests.

The special session is set to begin at noon on August 31.

The length of the session will be determined by the Legislature.

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July 15, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Adopts Formal Opinion

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission adopted a formal opinion stating lobbyists may make a campaign contribution to partisan elective state officials and candidates for partisan elective office, regardless of whether the individual is on the ballot for that election, during the contribution window.

The contribution window begins the first day authorized by law for the circulation of nomination papers as a candidate at a general election or special election and closes the day of the general or special election.

A contribution to a candidate for legislative office may only be made during the period if the Legislature has concluded its final floor period and is not in special or extraordinary session.

The contribution window opened on May 14 and will close on November 3.

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April 24, 2020 •

Wisconsin Republicans Postpone Party Convention Until July

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Republican Party of Wisconsin postponed its annual state convention from May to July because of the coronavirus pandemic. The convention will now take place over two days instead of three on July 10-11 in Green Bay. State Democrats have […]

The Republican Party of Wisconsin postponed its annual state convention from May to July because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The convention will now take place over two days instead of three on July 10-11 in Green Bay.

State Democrats have already changed their convention to one day, June 12, in Wisconsin Dells.

Additionally, the party will decide by May 1 whether it will be in-person or change to a virtual event.

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April 7, 2020 •

Wisconsin Moves Forward with Primary; Absentee Deadline Today

Hand dropping ballot

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order delaying the state’s presidential primary over coronavirus fears. The court ruled 4-2 Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own. The decision means the election will […]

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order delaying the state’s presidential primary over coronavirus fears.

The court ruled 4-2 Evers lacked the authority to move the election on his own.

The decision means the election will occur as originally scheduled on Tuesday.

Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday to count after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the deadline in the first coronavirus-related case to reach the justices.

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April 6, 2020 •

Wisconsin Governor Issues Order to Delay Election

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order to delay the state’s presidential primary from April 7 until June 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic. If Evers’ executive order holds, Wisconsin would become the 16th state to delay its election amid […]

Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order to delay the state’s presidential primary from April 7 until June 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If Evers’ executive order holds, Wisconsin would become the 16th state to delay its election amid the pandemic.

Republicans are expected to immediately challenge the governor’s order in state court.

Evers had been reluctant to act due to concerns a postponement would be quickly overturned by the state Supreme Court and impact his authority to fight the pandemic.

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April 6, 2020 •

Wisconsin Still Planning to Vote on April 7

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Legislative leaders declined the proposal of Gov. Tony Evers postponing in-person voting for the presidential primary and state elections Tuesday, April 7. Evers called the Legislature into a special session on April 4 to take up legislation avoiding in-person voting. […]

Legislative leaders declined the proposal of Gov. Tony Evers postponing in-person voting for the presidential primary and state elections Tuesday, April 7.

Evers called the Legislature into a special session on April 4 to take up legislation avoiding in-person voting.

The legislation created an all-mail election with a deadline of May 26 to return ballots.

An effort in federal court to delay the election also failed, but did result in a one-week extension for absentee ballots to be received.    

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April 3, 2020 •

Wisconsin Lawmakers to Consider Postponing Presidential Primary

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced he wants to postpone the presidential primary and state Supreme Court elections scheduled for Tuesday, April 7. Evers is calling the Legislature into a special session on April 4 to take up legislation to avoid […]

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced he wants to postpone the presidential primary and state Supreme Court elections scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.

Evers is calling the Legislature into a special session on April 4 to take up legislation to avoid in-person voting.

The legislation calls for an all-mail election with a deadline of May 26 to return ballots.

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April 2, 2020 •

Ruling Expected Soon In Case Seeking To Delay Wisconsin Election

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Although many states have postponed elections, as of April 1, Wisconsin plans to proceed with its primary on April 7 as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Several lawsuits were filed over the election. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor […]

Although many states have postponed elections, as of April 1, Wisconsin plans to proceed with its primary on April 7 as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several lawsuits were filed over the election.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Republican Party of Wisconsin

This will order a Dane County election official to change his guidance related to absentee voting and require strict compliance with voter identification laws.

Another federal lawsuit related to the election is still awaiting a verdict.

Formerly three separate cases, Federal Judge William Conley combined the three cases into a single case and heard arguments today.

A ruling in that case could happen any time.

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March 25, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Update

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24. As of today, the Commission is still receiving […]

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission will work from home beginning March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, to comply with Emergency Order #12 issued by the Department of Health Services on March 24.

As of today, the Commission is still receiving mail daily and will continue to accept filings by mail.

Documents may be hand delivered by appointment only.

For an appointment, please email ethics@wisconsin.gov.

Despite restricted public access to the office, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission continues to operate normally.

Committees can register and required campaign finance reports can be filed online at https://cfis.wi.gov.

Lobbyists and principals can process licensing and registration, pay fees, and file reports online at https://lobbying.wi.gov.

For questions concerning campaign finance, please email CampaignFinance@wisconsin.gov and for questions concerning lobbying, please email ETHLobbying@wisconsin.gov or lobbying@wi.gov.

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March 10, 2020 •

Wisconsin Ethics Commission Issues Formal Opinion

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

The Ethics Commission issued its first formal opinion on lobbying since being established in 2016. Ethics Commission Opinion 2020-02 explains what duties on behalf of a principal are exclusive to lobbying. Additionally, the order explains what duties are not exclusive […]

The Ethics Commission issued its first formal opinion on lobbying since being established in 2016.

Ethics Commission Opinion 2020-02 explains what duties on behalf of a principal are exclusive to lobbying.

Additionally, the order explains what duties are not exclusive to lobbying in order to clarify when the lobbyist’s duties require authorization by the fifth day of lobbying communication on behalf of the principal within a six-month reporting period.

For example, serving as the treasurer of a registered political action committee or administrator of a registered conduit are not duties exclusive to lobbying.

The opinion also provides examples of grassroots efforts that are not lobbying.

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January 30, 2020 •

Wisconsin Holds Special Session

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced a special session to introduce bills regarding the state’s dairy crisis. Gov. Tony Evers, in his State of the State address on January 22, called for the Legislature to convene a special session to address […]

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced a special session to introduce bills regarding the state’s dairy crisis.

Gov. Tony Evers, in his State of the State address on January 22, called for the Legislature to convene a special session to address the dairy crisis.

Wisconsin lost 10% of the state’s dairy farms in 2019, breaking the previous year’s record high of 7.25%.

The governor wants the Legislature to act on a package of proposals to assist rural Wisconsin.

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October 31, 2019 •

Wisconsin Calls Special Session on Gun Control

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Gov. Tony Evers called for the Legislature to convene in a special session on November 7 to vote on gun control legislation. The bills require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state. The legislation would also implement […]

Gov. Tony Evers called for the Legislature to convene in a special session on November 7 to vote on gun control legislation.

The bills require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.

The legislation would also implement red-flag laws requiring people perceived as threats to surrender their firearms.

The impact of a special session may be limited, as lawmakers plan to convene and then immediately adjourn the special session on the same day without voting on the proposals.

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September 24, 2019 •

Wisconsin Gov. Calls Special Election for 7th Congressional District Seat

Congressman Sean Duffy - Gage Skidmore

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order calling for a special election to fill Rep. Sean Duffy’s vacant seat in the 7th Congressional District. The election will take place on January 27, 2020. Duffy announced his resignation earlier this […]

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order calling for a special election to fill Rep. Sean Duffy’s vacant seat in the 7th Congressional District.

The election will take place on January 27, 2020.

Duffy announced his resignation earlier this year after revealing the child he and his wife are expecting in October will have medical issues.

Due to Duffy’s resignation, effective at 5 p.m. on September 23, Evers stated a primary for the seat, if necessary, will be held on December 30.

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