2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
February 7, 2018 - Introduced by Senators Shilling, Hansen, Risser, L. Taylor and
Ringhand, cosponsored by Representatives Hintz, C. Taylor, Hesselbein,
Zamarripa, Kolste, Sinicki, Berceau, Spreitzer, Pope, Anderson, Ohnstad,
Considine, Sargent, Subeck, Crowley and Wachs. Referred to Committee on
Elections and Utilities.
1An Act to amend
8.50 (4) (d) of the statutes; relating to: legislative vacancies.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Currently, under the Wisconsin Constitution, when there is a vacancy in the
membership of the senate or assembly, the governor is directed to call a special
election to fill the vacancy. The constitution does not specify a deadline for issuing
the order. Under the statutes, with a limited exception relating to legislative session
scheduling, if the vacancy occurs before the second Tuesday in May in the year in
which the office is regularly filled, the vacancy must be filled “as promptly as
This bill changes the statutes to specify that the special election must be
ordered within 60 days after the vacancy occurs, subject to the current exception.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
8.50 (4) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) Any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the 4
assembly occurring before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular 5
election is held to fill that seat shall be filled as promptly as possible
by special 6
election which shall be ordered within 60 days of the date that the vacancy occurs
However, any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the assembly 2
occurring after the close of the last regular floorperiod of the legislature held during 3
his or her term shall be filled only if a special session or extraordinary floorperiod of 4
the legislature is called or a veto review period is scheduled during the remainder 5
of the term. The special election to fill the vacancy shall be ordered, if possible, so 6
the new member may participate in the special session or floorperiod.