16. Leave of absence.
Members of the senate may not be absent from the daily session during the entire day without first obtaining a leave of absence. The leave may be granted at any time by a majority vote of the senate.
17. Order of business.
The order of business in the senate, including any opening prayer and the pledge of allegiance, is as follows:
(a) First order.
Call of roll.
(b) Second order.
Chief clerk's entries.
(c) Third order.
Introduction, first reading, and reference of proposals.
(d) Fourth order.
Reports of committees.
(e) Fifth order.
Petitions and communications.
(f) Sixth order.
Referrals and receipt of committee reports concerning proposed administrative rules.
(g) Seventh order.
Advice and consent of the senate.
(h) Eighth order.
Messages from the assembly.
(i) Ninth order.
(j) Tenth order.
Consideration of motions, resolutions, and joint resolutions not requiring a 3rd reading.
(k) Eleventh order.
Second reading and amendment of senate joint resolutions and senate bills.
(L) Twelfth order.
Second reading and amendment of assembly joint resolutions and assembly bills.
(m) Thirteenth order.
Third reading of joint resolutions and bills.
(n) Fourteenth order.
Motions may be offered.
(o) Fifteenth order.
Announcements, adjournment honors, and remarks under special privilege.
(p) Sixteenth order.
(2) A proposal or other matter may be made a special order for a specified date and time by the committee on senate organization or by two-thirds of the members present. Once established, a special order can be postponed to a future date or time only by the committee on senate organization or by two-thirds of the members present. When the time for the special order has arrived and the special order is announced by the presiding officer, or attention thereto is called by any member, the special order has precedence over the regular orders of business. Whenever the rules are suspended to advance such proposal or other matter to a subsequent stage, its precedence as a special order continues. Whenever any such special order is under consideration, it shall not be interrupted by the arrival of the time for the consideration of another special order.
(3) Special orders, once established, continue to be special orders, and when laid over under the rules are special orders on their proper calendar, unless otherwise ordered by the senate. Subsequent special orders shall be considered in their chronological order and their priority over regular orders on the calendars remains.
(4) With the prior consent of the majority leader and the minority leader and upon the motion by one of them under any order of business at any time, any member may be granted the floor for the purpose of introducing former members, state officers, and other persons of unusual achievement as guests of the senate. The member making the introduction shall submit in writing to the chief clerk the names of the guests so introduced.
(4m) Members may submit to the chief clerk in writing a listing of individuals who witnessed a part of the day's meeting or in whose honor the members would like to adjourn. The list, together with the record of the guests introduced on that legislative day under sub. (4)
, shall be entered at the end of the day's journal.
(5) Any member wishing to have his or her name added or removed as a coauthor or cosponsor of a proposal or amendment shall provide the chief clerk with a written request to do so prior to the proposal being messaged. The chief clerk shall promptly record the request in the journal and include the request in the official history of the proposal. An oral request during the proceedings of the senate to be made, or to be removed as, a coauthor or cosponsor of a proposal or amendment is not in order.
(6) Any action that would occur on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th order of business during a daily session, but that actually occurs after the completion of the applicable order of business on that day, is considered to have occurred on the applicable order of business for the purpose of producing the journal.
18. Daily calendar.
All proposals, appointments, or other business, referred to a committee and reported by it to the senate or withdrawn from it by the senate, all proposals or amendments received from the assembly for senate concurrence, and all reports from conference committees and veto messages received by the senate, shall be placed in the committee on senate organization. Any such business deposited with the chief clerk on a day when the senate does not meet may be placed in the committee on senate organization immediately. The committee on senate organization shall establish a calendar at least 18 hours prior to the commencement of the session to which the calendar applies, but the distributed calendar, as provided under sub. (2)
, may not be changed within such 18-hour period. In establishing a calendar under this subsection, the committee on senate organization shall place a proposal, appointment, or other business on the calendar when directed to do so by a majority vote of the senate.
(1b) Messages from the assembly or from the governor may be received and read, and any proposal referenced in the messages that is an assembly proposal initially received for consideration of the senate shall be referred. Any other proposals referenced in the messages shall be taken up immediately unless referred by the presiding officer to a standing committee.
(1m) Notwithstanding sub. (1)
and rule 41 (1) (c)
, no bill may be placed on a calendar that has not received a public hearing. The committee on senate organization may waive the public hearing requirement under this subsection.
(2) The sergeant at arms shall distribute a copy of the calendar to all members before the calendar is acted upon.
(3) The distributed calendar shall show the business scheduled to be taken up on the current day, organized according to the orders of business established by rule 17 (1)
. For proposals on 2nd reading, the calendar shall show all pending committee reports.
(4) Unless referred to, or otherwise ordered at a time designated by, the committee on senate organization, after completion of the 9th order of business of the current calendar day, and before consideration of the 10th and succeeding orders, unfinished calendars shall be taken up and completed.
(5) Every proposal ordered engrossed and read a 3rd time, unless otherwise ordered by the senate, shall be taken up under the 13th order of business on the senate's next business day.
19. Committee of the whole.
During the consideration of any proposal or other matter, the senate may, on motion, which motion is debatable, resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the consideration of the proposal or other matter. The rules of the senate govern, as far as practicable, the proceedings in committee of the whole, except that a member may speak more than twice on the same subject; that a call for the ayes and noes or for the previous question cannot be made in the committee; the committee may not recess; and may not postpone to a future time a subject before it for consideration. The committee shall elect one of its members as chairperson of the committee of the whole.
20. Standing committees of senate.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, the members of the committee on senate organization are:
1. The majority leader as chairperson.
2. The president.
3. The assistant majority leader.
4. The minority leader.
5. The assistant minority leader.
(b) If the 2 major political parties are represented in the senate by equal membership, the members of the committee on senate organization are:
1. The president.
2. The former majority and minority leaders and former majority and minority assistant leaders. The former majority leader shall be the chairperson.
3. The former minority caucus chairperson.
(c) The other standing committees of the senate shall be created by the committee on senate organization as near to the commencement of the biennial session as possible.
The chairperson of the committee on senate organization, as near to the commencement of the biennial session as possible, shall make and report to the senate all committee appointments of members of the majority and minority parties. The chairperson of the committee on senate organization shall designate a chairperson for each senate committee and joint committee.
(b) With regard to members of any minority party, the appointments shall be based on nominations by the leader of that party.
(c) The majority and minority parties of the senate shall be represented on all senate standing committees and on all joint standing committees on the basis prescribed by the chairperson of the committee on senate organization, but at least in proportion to the representation of the 2 major political parties in the membership of the senate unless, for the senate membership of a joint committee, such proportional representation places the senate majority party in a minority position on the joint committee.
(d) Unless the member is the chairperson, the first-appointed minority member of each standing committee is the ranking minority member of that committee.
The members of the senate committee for review of administrative rules are the senate members of the statutory joint committee for review of administrative rules.
(b) When the joint committee for review of administrative rules fails to report a proposal referred to it by the senate, the proposal may be referred to the senate by the senate committee for review of administrative rules.
The members of the senate committee on finance are the senate members of the joint committee on finance.
(b) When the joint committee on finance fails to report a proposal referred to it by the senate, the proposal may be returned to the senate by the senate committee on finance.
(5) Each member shall serve on at least one senate or joint standing committee or joint survey committee.
If senate seats are vacant, assignments to standing committees may be reserved for the senators who are to fill the vacancies, or current members may be designated to fill the vacant assignments temporarily in addition to their regular standing committee assignments until the new senators have been elected and qualified.
(7) If a senate member of a senate committee or a joint committee is unable to serve, the senate majority leader may select a temporary replacement for a member of the majority party who is unable to serve from among those senators of the same party and may select a temporary replacement for a member of the minority party, upon recommendation of the minority leader, who is unable to serve from among those senators of the same party. The replacement takes effect when the member who is a temporary replacement answers the roll call of the senate committee or joint committee and terminates upon the adjournment of the senate committee or joint committee meeting or the return of the member who was unable to serve, whichever occurs first.
20m. Committees of conference.
The president shall appoint the senate members of committees of conference.
21. Special committees.
All special committees shall be created by the committee on senate organization, designating the number and object, and be appointed by the chairperson of the committee on senate organization. The member first named is the chairperson of the special committee.
22. Advice and consent of the senate.
Whenever a nomination for an appointment is submitted to the senate, as required by law, the president shall refer the nomination to the standing committee that the president deems to be the most appropriate committee to pass upon the qualifications of the candidate. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the senate in writing. Nominations may be considered, and the persons so nominated may with the advice and consent of the senate be appointed during any session of the senate.
(2) On the question of the confirmation of appointments, the vote shall be taken by ayes and noes, which shall be entered upon the journal. The question of confirmation of the appointments is not subject to a motion for reconsideration under rule 67
. The senate may, but is not required to, act upon an appointment resubmitted to the senate when the identical appointment has once been refused confirmation by the senate. The chief clerk shall record the cumulative status of all appointments in the bulletin of proceedings. The senate shall inform the governor and the assembly of the senate's final action on confirmation of a nomination for appointment that requires assembly confirmation.
23. Committee not to be absent.
Members of a committee, except a conference committee, may not be absent by reason of their appointment during the sitting of the senate, without special leave.
24. Committee quorum; subcommittees.
A majority of any committee constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. For the purpose of determining a quorum of a committee necessary to transact business, and with the consent of the committee chairperson, a member who participates in a meeting of the committee by telephone or by other means of telecommunication or electronic communication is considered present. Subcommittees may be appointed to take charge of any part of the committee's business and to report to the committee. Motions to reconsider may be made in committee, before the papers are reported to the senate. Rereference gives the committee full power to act without reconsidering its former action.
25. Business in committees; notice of meeting.
(b) Except as provided in par. (d)
, public notice of every meeting of a committee shall be given at least 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting, unless the committee on senate organization determines that for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical. In no case may notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of a meeting. A public notice may be amended at any time to delay the commencement of the meeting or to delete items from the agenda of the meeting.
(c) The public notice under par. (b)
shall be posted on the bulletin board of each house. The notice shall indicate the day, hour, and place of the meeting and the number, author, and relating clause of each proposal to be considered. If unintroduced legislation will be considered at the meeting, the notice shall indicate the draft number assigned to the legislation by the legislative reference bureau and the relating clause of the legislation, and shall indicate that copies of the draft legislation are available at the chief clerk's office. The chairperson shall provide a copy of the draft legislation to the chief clerk before publishing the notice. The chief clerk shall distribute copies of the draft legislation to any person who requests such copies. Whenever a scheduled meeting is canceled, the chairperson shall immediately notify the chief clerk and post cancellation notices on the bulletin boards of each house.
(d) Paragraph (b)
does not apply to any meeting of the committee on senate organization that is called solely for the purpose of scheduling business before the senate or adopting resolutions of which the sole purpose is scheduling business before the senate or assembly.
(2) Except as provided under rules 41 (1) (e)
and 46 (2) (c)
, a proposal or other matter that has been referred to committee is within the sole jurisdiction of the majority of the committee. A directive with respect to the committee's action thereon, other than a motion to withdraw from the committee, is not in order.
(a) 1. A committee member who was recorded as present at an executive session may vote by polling on a proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule considered at that executive session. The committee member may vote by polling on all applicable motions.
2. If a committee member was not recorded as present at an executive session, the committee member may not vote by polling on a proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule considered at that executive session unless the chairperson of the committee determines that voting by polling is necessary in an emergency for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or welfare. If the chairperson determines that a committee member may vote by polling, the committee member may vote on all applicable motions.
(am) A committee may not conduct an executive session on a proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule by ballot unless the proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule has lain over for at least 24 hours. The committee on senate organization may determine that for good cause such a layover is impossible or impractical. In no case, however, may a proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule be made available to the public less than 2 hours before a ballot is circulated. The ballots shall be in a form prescribed by the chief clerk. A member may change his or her vote if the change will not affect the outcome of the vote and if the proposal, amendment, appointment, or proposed administrative rule has not been reported out of committee. In no case, however, may a member change his or her vote later than 24 hours after the ballot is due as provided in the executive session notice.
(b) If a chairperson of a committee elects to vote by ballot under par. (am)
, public notice shall be posted on the bulletin board of each house prior to the circulation of the ballot as provided under sub. (1) (b)
. The notice shall indicate the day and hour when the ballot will be circulated and the number, author, and relating clause of each proposal to be considered. If unintroduced legislation will be considered, the notice shall indicate the draft number assigned to the legislation by the legislative reference bureau and the relating clause of the legislation, and shall indicate that copies of the draft legislation are available at the chief clerk's office. The chairperson shall provide a copy of the draft legislation to the chief clerk before posting the notice. The chief clerk shall distribute copies of the draft legislation to any person who requests such copies.