LRB-2729/1
MPG:emw
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
September 7, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Hebl, Berceau, Considine,
Kitchens, Ohnstad, Sargent, Shankland and Wachs, cosponsored by
Senators Hansen and Ringhand. Referred to Committee on Constitution and
Ethics.
AJR71,1,7 1To amend section 1 of article IV, section 17 (2) of article IV and section 10 (1) (b) of
2article V; and to create section 7 of article III, section 17 (4) of article IV, section
317 (5) of article IV, section 17 (6) of article IV and section 17 (7) of article IV of
4the constitution; relating to: reserving to the people the power of referendum
5to reject acts of the legislature and the power of initiative to propose and
6approve at an election laws and constitutional amendments (first
7consideration).
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2017 legislature on first
consideration, creates a petition process by which the people may propose and
approve laws and constitutional amendments at an election and creates a
referendum process by which the people may reject an act of the legislature.
Referendum
The amendment provides that no act may become effective until at least 120
days after the act is published. During that period, the people may file a petition with
the commission that administers state elections (Elections Commission) for a
referendum to reject the act, a section of the act, or an item of appropriation in the
act. The amendment requires the legislature to establish the Elections Commission.
A petition for referendum must be signed by qualified electors equaling at least
4 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last preceding gubernatorial

election and must be filed with the Elections Commission within 90 days after the
date of publication of the act.
After validating a petition's signatures, the Elections Commission is required
to order a referendum at the next general election occurring at least 120 days after
the petition was filed with the Elections Commission. No act or part of an act subject
to the petition may go into effect unless a majority of those voting on the referendum
approve it. If the petition is against a part of an act, the remainder of the act is not
prevented from going into effect. No act or part of an act rejected in a referendum
may be reenacted during the legislative session in which it was rejected.
Initiative
The amendment further provides that the people may propose, by petition filed
with the Elections Commission, laws and constitutional amendments for a vote at
an election. The petition must satisfy all of the following conditions:
1. If a petition for an initiative law, be signed by qualified electors equaling at
least 6 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last preceding
gubernatorial election.
2. If a petition for an initiative constitutional amendment, be signed by
qualified electors equaling at least 8 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor
at the last preceding gubernatorial election.
3. Include the full text of the proposed law or constitutional amendment
prepared in proper form, as provided by law. Upon request by any qualified elector,
the Elections Commission is required to have the proposed law or constitutional
amendment drafted in proper form and made available to the public. The proposed
law or amendment must embrace no more than one subject, and that subject must
be expressed in the title.
4. Be filed with the Elections Commission not less than 120 days before the
election at which the proposed law or constitutional amendment is to be voted upon.
Similar to the process for a referendum, after verifying an initiative petition's
signatures, the Elections Commission is required to order the submission of the
initiative law or constitutional amendment to the qualified electors of the state for
their approval or rejection at the next succeeding general election occurring
subsequent to 120 days after the filing of the petition.
If approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election, an
initiative law or constitutional amendment goes into effect on the 30th day after the
date the Elections Commission certifies the election results, unless a different
effective date is specified in the initiative. The legislature may not repeal or amend
an initiative law for the two years immediately succeeding its publication and may
not repeal or amend an initiative law except by a vote of two-thirds of all members
elected to each house. If an initiative law or constitutional amendment fails to pass
at the election, the same initiative law or amendment may not be considered again
by voters under the initiative process for at least five years.

Second consideration and ratification
A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive
legislatures, and ratification by the people, before it can become effective.
AJR71,3,1 1Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That:
AJR71,1 2Section 1. Section 7 of article III of the constitution is created to read:
AJR71,3,43 [Article III] Section 7. The legislature shall establish by law a commission to
4administer state elections.
AJR71,2 5Section 2. Section 1 of article IV of the constitution is amended to read:
AJR71,3,76 [Article IV] Section 1. The legislative power, except for the initiative and
7referendum powers reserved to the people,
shall be vested in a senate and assembly.
AJR71,3 8Section 3. Section 17 (2) of article IV of the constitution is amended to read:
AJR71,3,109 [Article IV] Section 17 (2) No Except as provided under sub. (6) (c), no law shall
10be enacted except by bill. No law shall be in force until published.
AJR71,4 11Section 4. Section 17 (4) of article IV of the constitution is created to read:
AJR71,3,1312 [Article IV] Section 17 (4) No act passed by the legislature may take effect
13before the 120th day after the date of publication of the act.
AJR71,5 14Section 5. Section 17 (5) of article IV of the constitution is created to read:
AJR71,3,1915 [Article IV] Section 17 (5) (a) The people reserve to themselves the power to
16approve or reject at a referendum any act of the legislature or part of an act as
17provided in this subsection. The people may petition for a referendum on the passage
18of an act, one or more sections of an act, or one or more items of appropriation in an
19act. The petition for a referendum shall satisfy all of the following conditions:
AJR71,3,2120 1. Be signed by qualified electors equaling at least 4 percent of the vote cast for
21the office of governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election.
AJR71,4,2
12. Be filed with the commission administering state elections on or before the
290th day after the date of publication of the act.
AJR71,4,83 (b) All signatures for a petition submitted under par. (a) must be made on paper.
4After verifying the sufficiency of the signatures for a petition, the commission
5administering state elections shall order the submission of the act or each act section
6or each item of appropriation in the petition to the qualified electors of the state for
7their approval or rejection at the next succeeding general election occurring
8subsequent to 120 days after the filing of the petition.
AJR71,4,139 (c) No act of the legislature, section of an act, or item of appropriation subject
10to referendum under this subsection shall go into effect unless approved by a
11majority of the qualified electors voting at the referendum. If a referendum petition
12is filed against a part of an act, the remainder of the act shall not thereby be
13prevented or delayed from going into effect.
AJR71,4,1514 (d) No act of the legislature or part of an act rejected in a referendum may be
15reenacted during the legislative session in which it was rejected.
AJR71,6 16Section 6. Section 17 (6) of article IV of the constitution is created to read:
AJR71,4,2217 [Article IV] Section 17 (6) (a) The people reserve to themselves the power of
18initiative to propose laws and amendments to this constitution and to approve or
19reject them at an election independently of the legislature as provided in this
20subsection. The people may propose an initiative law or constitutional amendment
21by petition for a vote of the people on the passage of the law or ratification of the
22amendment. The petition shall satisfy all of the following conditions:
AJR71,4,2523 1. If a petition for an initiative law, be signed by qualified electors equaling at
24least 6 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last preceding
25gubernatorial election.
AJR71,5,3
12. If a petition for an initiative constitutional amendment, be signed by
2qualified electors equaling at least 8 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor
3at the last preceding gubernatorial election.
AJR71,5,94 3. Include the full text of the proposed law or constitutional amendment
5prepared in proper form, as provided by law. Upon request by any qualified elector,
6the commission administering state elections shall have the proposed law or
7constitutional amendment drafted in proper form, as provided by law, and made
8available to the public. The proposed law or amendment shall embrace no more than
9one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.
AJR71,5,1210 4. Be filed with the commission administering state elections not less than 120
11days before the election at which the proposed law or constitutional amendment is
12to be voted upon.
AJR71,5,1813 (b) All signatures for a petition submitted under par. (a) must be made on paper.
14After verifying the sufficiency of the signatures for a petition, the commission
15administering state elections shall order the submission of the initiative law or
16amendment to the qualified electors of the state for their approval or rejection at the
17next succeeding general election occurring subsequent to 120 days after the filing of
18the petition.
AJR71,5,2519 (c) If approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election, an
20initiative law or constitutional amendment shall go into effect on the 30th day after
21the date the commission administering state elections certifies the election results
22as provided by law, unless a different effective date is specified in the initiative law
23or amendment. The legislature may not repeal or amend an initiative law for the two
24years immediately succeeding its publication and may not repeal or amend an
25initiative law except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house.
AJR71,6,6
1(d) If not approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election,
2the same initiative law or constitutional amendment, as determined by the
3commission administering state elections, may not be submitted again to the
4qualified electors under par. (b) until a general election occurring at least 5 years
5after the general election at which the initiative law or constitutional amendment
6was rejected.
AJR71,7 7Section 7. Section 17 (7) of article IV of the constitution is created to read:
AJR71,6,128 [Article IV] Section 17 (7) No person may pay to or receive from another person
9money or other thing of value based on the number of signatures obtained on an
10initiative or referendum petition. This subsection does not prohibit payment for
11signature gathering that is not based, either directly or indirectly, on the number of
12signatures obtained.
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