The End of a Wild Ride: Legislative Session Wraps Up

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM by

The Wisconsin Legislature concluded its session last week, a session that began in January 2011. This means that the Legislature will probably not meet again until January 2013, unless the Governor calls a special session of the Legislature. (Both houses of the state Legislature will hold a limited floor period for about 10 days starting in late April, to tie up any loose ends.)

This legislative session included passage of the state’s controversial budget repair bill, which severely restricted collective bargaining rights for public sector unions. During this session, the Legislature also passed the state’s biennial budget, which raised tuition for college students while handing out large tax breaks for multi-state corporations.

More recently, the Legislature had been considering a number of bills and constitutional amendments, some of which we’ve been keeping tabs on here on the Wisconsin Budget Project blog. To become a law, a bill must pass both houses of the Legislature in the same session and then be signed by the Governor. Proposed constitutional amendments must be passed by both houses of two consecutive Legislatures and approved at a statewide referendum.

Here is the status of end-of-session legislation that we have previously highlighted on this blog:

  • A requirement that biennial budget bills must include a list of all the earmarks in the bill. Senate Bill 114 was passed by both houses of the Legislature and will be sent to the Governor for his signature.
  • A provision that would allow students with disabilities to use publicly-funded vouchers to attend private schools. Assembly Bill 110 as approved by the Assembly but did not make it through the Senate. A similar bill (Senate Bill 486) did not advance in the Senate.

We’ve also recently written about three proposed constitutional amendments that would affect the state’s coffers. Here’s how those fared:

Tamarine Cornelius

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