Wisconsin State Assembly
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|
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 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.
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.
Salary and benefitsEdit
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.
Past composition of the AssemblyEdit
- Wisconsin Blue Book, 1991, p. 229.
- Wisconsin Is About to Make a Huge Mistake, New York Times
- New election data highlights the ongoing impact of 2011 GOP redistricting in Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel
- Election Shows How Gerrymandering Is Difficult to Overcome, US News
- No Contest, Isthmus
- Many experts recognize Wisconsin as the most gerrymandered state in the country Oshkosh Northwestern
- On whether Wisconsin is the most gerrymandered state, Politifact
- "Whitford v. Gill | Brennan Center for Justice". www.brennancenter.org. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Gill v. Whitford". SCOTUS blog. Retrieved February 9, 2019. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Salaries of Elected Officials Effective January 2017" (PDF). Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- 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.