Article IV, §1
Legislative power. Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and assembly.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
An act validating existing sewerage districts previously held to be unconstitutionally organized is within the power of the legislature. Madison Metropolitan Sewerage Dist. v. Stein, 47 Wis. 2d 349, 177 N.W.2d 131.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The power given vocational district boards to levy taxes does not violate this section. The manner of appointing board members is constitutional. West Milwaukee v. Area Bd. Vocational, T. & A. Ed. 51 Wis. 2d 356, 187 N.W.2d 387.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
One legislature cannot dictate action by a future legislature or a future legislative committee. State ex rel. Warren v. Nusbaum, 59 Wis. 2d 391, 208 N.W.2d 780.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The legislature may constitutionally prescribe a criminal penalty for violation of an administrative rule. State v. Courtney, 74 Wis. 2d 705, 247 N.W.2d 714.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
Provisions of s. 144.07 (1m) [now s. 281.34 (1m)], that void a DNR sewerage connection order if electors in the affected town area reject annexation to the city ordered to extend sewerage service, represents a valid legislative balancing and accommodation of 2 statewide concerns: urban development and pollution control. City of Beloit v. Kallas, 76 Wis. 2d 61, 250 N.W.2d 342.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
Mediation - arbitration under s. 111.70 (4) (cm) is a constitutional delegation of legislative authority. Milwaukee County v. District Council 48, 109 Wis. 2d 14, 325 N.W.2d 350 (Ct. App. 1982).Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The court will invalidate legislation only for constitutional violations. State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983).Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
Reference in a statute to a general federal law, as amended, necessarily references the current federal law where the act named in the statute is repealed and the law rewritten in another act. Because reference is stated as part of a contingency, it does not constitute unlawful delegation of legislative authority to U.S. Congress. Dane County Hospital & Home v. LIRC, 125 Wis. 2d 308, 371 N.W.2d 815 (Ct. App. 1985).Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
Proposed amendments to bills creating variable obscenity laws that would exempt motion picture films shown at theaters that comply with the film ratings of the motion picture association of America constitute an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power. 58 Atty. Gen. 36.Article IV, §1 - ANNOT.
The one man-one vote principle is inapplicable to legislative committees since that principle applies only to the exercise of legislative powers and such powers cannot constitutionally be delegated to these committees. There has been no such unconstitutional delegation as to the joint committee on finance, the board on government operations, the joint legislative council or the committee to visit state properties. Legislative oversight of administrative rules discussed. 63 Atty. Gen. 173.Article IV, §2
Legislature, how constituted. Section 2. 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.Article IV, §3
Apportionment. Section 3. [As amended Nov. 1910, Nov. 1962 and Nov. 1982] 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. [1907 J.R. 30, 1909 J.R. 55, 1909 c. 478, vote Nov. 1910; 1959 J.R. 30, 1961 J.R. 32, vote Nov. 6, 1962; 1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982]Article IV, §3 - ANNOT.
Institutional populations, as well as other populations that may include persons disenfranchised for some reason, may not be disregarded for redistricting purposes. 70 Atty. Gen. 80.Article IV, §4
Representatives to the assembly, how chosen. Section 4. [As amended Nov. 1881 and Nov. 1982] 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. [1880 J.R. 9S, 1881 J.R. 7A, 1881 c. 262, vote Nov. 1881; 1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982]Article IV, §4 - ANNOT.
U.S. Supreme Court decisions requiring almost absolute equality of population among electoral districts render nugatory the state court's construction of art. IV, sec. 4, as prohibiting assembly districts from dividing counties except where a county is entitled to more than one assembly member. 58 Atty. Gen. 88.Article IV, §5
Senators, how chosen. Section 5. [As amended Nov. 1881 and Nov. 1982] 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. [1880 J.R. 9S, 1881 J.R. 7A, 1881 c. 262, vote Nov. 1881; 1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982]Article IV, §6
Qualifications of legislators. Section 6. 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.Article IV, §6 - ANNOT.
A candidate for election to Congress need not be a resident of the district at the time he or she files nomination papers and executes the declaration of intent to accept the office if elected. A candidate for congress must be an inhabitant of the state at the time of election. 61 Atty. Gen. 155.Article IV, §7
Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory attendance. Section 7. 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.Article IV, §8
Rules; contempts; expulsion. Section 8. 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.Article IV, §8 - ANNOT.
The legislature cannot sentence a person to confinement for contempt without notice and without giving an opportunity to respond to the charge. Groppi v. Leslie, 404 U.S. 496.Article IV, §9
Officers. Section 9. [As amended April 1979] Each house shall choose its presiding officers from its own members. [1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979]Article IV, §10
Journals; open doors; adjournments. Section 10. 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.Article IV, §11
Meeting of legislature. Section 11. [As amended Nov. 1881 and April 1968] 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. [1880 J.R. 9S, 1881 J.R. 7A, 1881 c. 262, vote Nov. 1881; 1965 J.R. 57, 1967 J.R. 48, vote April 1968]Article IV, §12
Ineligibility of legislators to office. Section 12. 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.Article IV, §12 - ANNOT.
A legislator may be elected to a constitutional or statutory state elective office even though the emoluments of the office were raised during his or her legislative term. If so elected, the legislator is limited by 13.04 (1) to the emoluments of the office prior to the increase. A legislator is not eligible, however, for appointment to an office created during his or her term or to an office the emoluments of which appointive office were raised during his or her legislative term. 63 Atty. Gen. 127.Article IV, §13
Ineligibility of federal officers. Section 13. [As amended April 1966] 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. [1963 J.R. 34, 1965 J.R. 14, vote April 1966.]Article IV, §14
Filling vacancies. Section 14. The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature.Article IV, §15
Exemption from arrest and civil process. Section 15. 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.Article IV, §15 - ANNOT.
The privilege under this section can be invoked by a legislator only if the legislator is subpoenaed, not if an aide is subpoenaed. State v. Beno, 116 Wis. 2d 122, 341 N.W.2d 668 (1984).Article IV, §15 - ANNOT.
The members of the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and prosecution when they included article IV, section 15 in the Wisconsin Constitution. The phrase "treason, felony and breach of the peace" in that section was intended to mean all crimes. State v. Burke, 2002 WI App 291, 258 Wis. 2d 832, 653 N.W.2d 922, 02-2161.Article IV, §16
Privilege in debate. Section 16. No member of the legislature shall be liable in any civil action, or criminal prosecution whatever, for words spoken in debate.Article IV, §16 - ANNOT.
The sphere of legislative action protected under this section is broader than floor deliberations. A legislator may invoke the privilege under this section to immunize an aide from a subpoena to testify as to an investigation conducted by the aide at the legislator's request. State v. Beno, 116 Wis. 2d 122, 341 N.W.2d 668 (1984).Article IV, §16 - ANNOT.
Not all activities of a legislator are protected by this section insofar as that activity is not an integral part of the deliberative and communicative processes. While legislative acts are protected by the speech and debate clause, political acts are not. Hiring, directing, and managing legislative caucus staff to oversee political campaigns is not protected. By its very nature, engaging in campaign activity is political. State v. Chvala, 2004 WI App 53, 271 Wis. 2d 115, 678 N.W.2d 880, 03-0442. See also State v. Jensen, 2004 WI App 89, 272 Wis. 2d 707, 684 N.W.2d 136, 03-0106.Article IV, §16 - ANNOT.
This section provides only immunity from prosecution based on use of communications, and not secrecy for communications of government officials and employees. Legislative Technical Services Bureau Custodian of Records v. State 2004 WI 65, 272 Wis. 2d 208, 680 N.W.2d 792, 02-3063.Article IV, §16 - ANNOT.
In a federal criminal prosecution against a state legislator there is no legislative privilege barring introduction of evidence of the legislator's legislative acts. United States v. Gillock, 445 U.S. 360 (1980).Article IV, §17
Enactment of laws. Section 17. [As amended April 1977]
Article IV, §17 �(1) (1) The style of all laws of the state shall be "The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:".
Article IV, §17 �(2) (2) No law shall be enacted except by bill. No law shall be in force until published.
Article IV, §17 �(3) (3) The legislature shall provide by law for the speedy publication of all laws. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]Article IV, §17 - ANNOT.
The state legislature cannot constitutionally adopt prospective federal legislation by reference. 63 Atty. Gen. 229.Article IV, §17 - ANNOT.
Article VII, sec. 21  requires full text publication of all general laws, and publication of an abstract or synopsis of such laws would not be sufficient. Methods other than newspaper publication, under 985.04, may be utilized to give public notice of general laws. 63 Atty. Gen. 346.Article IV, §18
Title of private bills. Section 18. 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.Article IV, §18 - ANNOT.
Chapter 418, laws of 1977, s. 923 (48) (a) is a private or local bill enacted unconstitutionally. Soo Line R. Co. v. Transportation Dept. 101 Wis. 2d 64, 303 N.W.2d 626 (1981).Article IV, §18 - ANNOT.
A specific prison siting provision in a budget act did not violate this section. The test for distinguishing a private or local law is established. Milwaukee Brewers v. DHSS, 130 Wis. 2d 79, 387 N.W.2d 254 (1986).Article IV, §18 - ANNOT.
Challenged legislation, although general on its face, violated this section because the classification employed was not based on any substantial distinction between classes employed nor was it germane to purposes of the legislation. Brookfield v. Milwaukee Sewerage District, 144 Wis. 2d 896, 426 N.W.2d 591 (1988).Article IV, §18 - ANNOT.
A bill has a single subject if all of its provisions are related to the same general purpose and are incident to that purpose. A title is insufficient only if it fails to reasonably suggest the purpose of the act or if a reading of the act with the full scope of the title in mind discloses a provision clearly outside the title. Brookfield v. Milwaukee Sewerage District, 171 Wis. 2d 400, 491 N.W.2d 484 (1992).