WheelerWeek – Legislative Study Committees

As published by The Wheeler Report – Friday, June 9, 2006


The co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Council (Rep. Wieckert and Sen. Lasee) have recommended the establishment of 18 special committee and appointment of their chairs. Here is the list of committees and chairs.

  • Special Committee on Affirmative Action – Glenn Grothman
  • Special Committee on Airport Authorities – Rep. Stone.
  • Special Committee on the Applicability of Open Meetings Laws to Quasi-Governmental Bodies – Sen. Fitzgerald.
  • Special Committee on Charter Schools – Rep. Vukmir.
  • Special Committee on Disaster Preparedness Planning – Rep. Ballweg.
  • Special Committee on District Attorney Funding and Administration – Rep. Gundrum.
  • Special Committee on Expunction of Criminal Records – Rep. Vos.
  • Special Committee on Great Lakes Water Resources Compact – Sen. Kedzie.
  • Special Committee on Highway Weight Limits – Rep. Gottlieb.
  • Special Committee on Navigability and Drainage Ditches – Sen. Lasee
  • Special Committee on Nuclear Power – Rep. Montgomery
  • Special Committee on Placement of Sex Offenders – Rep. Bies and Suder.
  • Special Committee on the Recodification of Chapter 21, Military Affairs – Sen. Brown.
  • Special Committee on the Review of Crimes Against Children – Sen. Darling
  • Special Committee on the Review of State School Aid Formula – Sen. Olsen.
  • Special Committee on the State Trails Policy – Sen. Breske.
  • Special Committee on Strengthening Wisconsin Families – Rep. Kestell.
  • Special Committee on Uniform Debt Management Services – Rep. Wieckert.

Today, a mail ballot was distributed to members of the Joint Legislative Council asking for approval of the committees. The ballots are to be returned by Wednesday, June 14. Descriptions of the charges to the committees are available online at The Wheeler Report.


And Today …

 The Joint Legislative Council has approved the following committees and chairs for the 2018 interim:

  1. Study Committee on Bail and Conditions of Pretrial Release – Approved 22-0.
    1. Wanggaard – Chair,
    2. Risser – Vice Chair
  2. Study Committee on Minor Guardianship – Approved 22-0.
    1. Steineke – Chair,
    2. Johnson – Vice Chair
  3. Study Committee on Child Placement and Support – Approved 22-0
    1. R. Brooks – Chair,
    2. Taylor – Vice Chair
  4. Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices – Approved 18-4 (Reps. Barca, Hesselbein, Hintz, Taylor)
    1. Olsen – Chair,
    2. Allen – Vice Chair
  5. Study Committee on the use of Police Body Cameras – Approved 22-0
    1. Testin – Chair,
    2. Taylor – Vice Chair
  6. Study Committee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds – Approved 21-1 (Sen. Risser)
    1. Katsma – Chair,
    2. Taylor – Vice Chair
  7. Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement – Approved 17-5 (Sen. Risser, Reps. Barca, Hesselbein, Hintz, Taylor)
    1. Swearingen – Chair,
    2. Feyen – Vice Chair
  8. Study Committee on Direct Primary Care – Approved 14-8 (Sens. Miller, Risser, Shilling and Taylor, Reps. Barca, Hesselbein, Hintz and Taylor)
    1. Darling – Chair,
    2. Nygren – Vice Chair
  9. Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia – Approved 22-0
    1. Kulp – Chair,
    2. Schachtner – Vice Chair
  10. Biennial Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair of the Special Committee on State-Tribal – Approved 22-0
    1. Mursau – Chair
    2. Vinehout – Vice Chair


The Joint Legislative Committee and the Legislative Council will now look to fill the remaining positions on the committee. Some seats on the committee will be filled with legislators, others will be filled with members of the public who are recommended by organizations.

In a recent episode of #LocalGovMatters (A Wheeler Report podcast done in conjunction with The League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Wisconsin Counties Association) Legislative Council Director Terry Anderson explained that the Legislative Council is one of the five non-partisan service agencies that support the legislature: Legislative Council, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Reference Bureau, Legislative Technology Service Bureau, and Legislative Audit Bureau. The Legislative Council is charged with providing legal assistance to the legislature, but also with conducting special studies which are focused on specific problems. Anderson said many states have legislative councils; Wisconsin has had one since 1947. The movement to create legislative councils started in Oklahoma to help provide professional staff to legislators, and to help the legislature play a more active role in government and prevent governor’s from taking action while the legislature was out of session. Anderson said today, the states which still maintain legislative councils are predominately in the Midwest and the New England states. Anderson highlighted that legislative standing committees are for legislators only and are given bills to consider and eventually take action on. Anderson emphasized that Wisconsin is unique in study committees because the committees are a “mixture” of legislators and citizens who are knowledgeable in different issues.