Panzer v. Doyle: Wisconsin Constitutional Law Deals the Governor a New Hand. Wawrzyn. 89 MLR. 221 (2005).
Stationery and printing. Section
The legislature shall provide by law that all stationery required for the use of the state, and all printing authorized and required by them to be done for their use, or for the state, shall be let by contract to the lowest bidder, but the legislature may establish a maximum price; no member of the legislature or other state officer shall be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any such contract.
The legality of appointing a nominee to the board of regents when that person is a major stockholder in a printing company that is under contract to the state is discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 172.
Extra compensation; salary change. Section
[As amended April 1956, April 1967, April 1974, April 1977 and April 1992
] The legislature may not grant any extra compensation to a public officer, agent, servant or contractor after the services have been rendered or the contract has been entered into.
Except as provided in this subsection, the compensation of a public officer may not be increased or diminished during the term of office:
When any increase or decrease in the compensation of justices of the supreme court or judges of any court of record becomes effective as to any such justice or judge, it shall be effective from such date as to every such justice or judge.
Any increase in the compensation of members of the legislature shall take effect, for all senators and representatives to the assembly, after the next general election beginning with the new assembly term.
Subsection (1) shall not apply to increased benefits for persons who have been or shall be granted benefits of any kind under a retirement system when such increased benefits are provided by a legislative act passed on a call of ayes and noes by a
three-fourths vote of all the members elected to both houses of the legislature and such act provides for sufficient state funds to cover the costs of the increased benefits. [1953 J.R. 41, 1955 J.R. 17, vote April 3, 1956; 1965 J.R. 96, 1967 J.R. 17, vote April 1967; 1971 J.R. 12, 1973 J.R. 15, vote April 1974; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977; 1991 J.R. 13, vote April 1992
This section does not prohibit a retroactive wage adjustment negotiated by collective bargaining and applied only to a period when employees were working without a contract. Department of Administration v. WERC, 90 Wis. 2d 426
, 280 N.W.2d 150
The sub. (3) requirement of a three-fourths vote of all members elected to the legislature permits passage of a bill increasing benefits under a retirement system when the bill has received the votes of three-fourths of the entire elected membership of the legislature. Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Inc. v. Lightbourn, 2001 WI 59
, 243 Wis. 2d 512
, 627 N.W.2d 807
An amendment authorizing increased benefits to all retired employees would constitute a legislative declaration that such expenditures would be for a public purpose. 58 Atty. Gen. 101.
University salaries may be increased only from the date the regents adopt the budget and are subject to subsequent funding by the legislature. 60 Atty. Gen. 487.
Suits against state.
The legislature shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the state.
An action will not lie against the secretary of revenue for a refund of a sales tax deposit as that is an action against the state and it was not alleged that the secretary acted outside his authority. Appel v. Halverson, 50 Wis. 2d 230
, 184 N.W.2d 99
Since the mandate of this section is to the legislature, the supreme court cannot judicially intervene to change the doctrine of procedural immunity and thereby correct the anomaly that arises as a result of the constitutional restriction, absent legislative implementation, of tort suits against the state. Cords v. State, 62 Wis. 2d 42
, 214 N.W.2d 405
A state agency or officer may not waive the state's sovereign immunity without specific authorization, nor will principles of estoppel be applied to deprive the state of its sovereign rights. Lister v. Bd. of Regents, 72 Wis. 2d 282
, 240 N.W.2d 610
Although courts have common law jurisdiction to enforce arbitration awards generally, they cannot enforce awards against the state absent express legislative authorization. Teaching Assistants Assoc. v. UW-Madison, 96 Wis. 2d 492
, 292 N.W.2d 657
(Ct. App. 1980).
The doctrine of sovereign immunity cannot bar an action for just compensation based on a taking of private property for public use even though the legislature has failed to establish specific provisions for the recovery of just compensation. Zinn v. State, 112 Wis. 2d 417
, 334 N.W.2d 67
A waiver of sovereign immunity in the creation of a state agency is discussed. Busse v. Dane County Regional Planning Comm. 181 Wis. 2d 527
, 510 N.W.2d 136
(Ct. App. 1993).
A specific performance action is a suit under this section. The legislature has not consented to be sued for specific performance, and such an action is not permitted against the state. Erickson Oil Products, Inc. v. DOT, 184 Wis. 2d 36
, 516 N.W.2d 755
(Ct. App. 1994).
The state waives its sovereign immunity when it creates an agency as an independent going concern. Bahr v. State Investment Bd. 186 Wis. 2d 379
, 521 N.W.2d 152
(Ct. App. 1994).
A county's appeal of an ex parte order that it was responsible for court costs incurred by the state public defender for an indigent defendant was not an action “brought" against the state. The public defender could not assert that the appeal was barred by sovereign immunity. Polk County v. State Public Defender, 188 Wis. 2d 665
, 524 N.W.2d 389
Although the general rule is that waivers of sovereign immunity must be read narrowly, when a statute provides a clear, express, and broadly worded consent to sue, the rule of narrow construction will not be applied anew to every type of claim brought under the statute. German v. DOT, 223 Wis. 2d 525
, 589 N.W.2d 651
(Ct. App. 1998), 98-0250
When the state creates an entity independent from the state, which acts as neither its arm nor its agent, such entity falls outside the protection of sovereign immunity. The determination that a state entity is an independent going concern is a narrow exception to sovereign immunity. In determining whether a state entity is an independent going concern, courts should consider both the character and breadth of the statutory powers granted to the entity. Mayhugh v. State, 2015 WI 77
, 364 Wis. 2d 208
m 867 N.W.2d 754
Section 301.04, which permits the Department of Corrections (DOC) to sue and be sued, is not an express waiver of the DOC's tort immunity but rather addresses the DOC's capacity to be sued. Mayhugh v. State, 2015 WI 77
, 364 Wis. 2d 208
m 867 N.W.2d 754
Congress lacks the power to subject the states to private suits in their own state courts. Alder v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706
, 144. L. Ed. 2d 636 (1999).
The state has removed only the substantive defense of governmental tort immunity and the state constitutional barrier providing that the state may be sued only upon its consent remains. Knox v. Regents of University of Wisconsin, 385 F. Supp. 886
State immunity from suit. 1971 WLR 879.
Oath of office.
Members of the legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability.
The legislature shall determine what persons shall constitute the militia of the state, and may provide for organizing and disciplining the same in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
Elections by legislature. Section
As amended Nov. 1982
] All elections made by the legislature shall be by roll call vote entered in the journals. [1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982
Special and private laws prohibited. Section
[As created Nov. 1871 and amended Nov. 1892 and April 1993
] The legislature is prohibited from enacting any special or private laws in the following cases:
For changing the names of persons, constituting one person the heir at law of another or granting any divorce.
For laying out, opening or altering highways, except in cases of state roads extending into more than one county, and military roads to aid in the construction of which lands may be granted by congress.
For authorizing persons to keep ferries across streams at points wholly within this state.
For authorizing the sale or mortgage of real or personal property of minors or others under disability.
For locating or changing any county seat.
For assessment or collection of taxes or for extending the time for the collection thereof.
For granting corporate powers or privileges, except to cities.
For authorizing the apportionment of any part of the school fund.
For incorporating any city, town or village, or to amend the charter thereof. [1870 J.R. 13, 1871 J.R. 1, 1871 c. 122, vote Nov. 1871; 1889 J.R. 4, 1891 J.R. 4, 1891 c. 362, vote Nov. 1892; 1993 J.R. 3, vote April 1993
An act validating existing sewerage districts previously held to be unconstitutionally organized is within the power of the legislature. Madison Metropolitan Sewerage Dist. v. Stein, 47 Wis. 2d 349
, 177 N.W.2d 131
The Housing Authority, designated as a corporation, does not violate the prohibition against granting of corporate powers by the legislature. State ex rel. Warren v. Nusbaum, 59 Wis. 2d 391
, 208 N.W.2d 780
The plain meaning of sub. (9) pertains not just to legislation directly incorporating a municipality, but also to legislation providing a process for incorporating. A provision in a budget bill that exempted a town from the normal statutory incorporation process violated sub. (9) and was unconstitutional. Kuehne v. Burdette, 2009 WI App 119
, 320 Wis. 2d 784
, 772 N.W.2d 225
Sec. 31 includes a public purpose doctrine allowing the granting of limited corporate powers to entities created to promote a public and state purpose. Brookfield v. Milwaukee Sewerage District, 171 Wis. 2d 400
, 491 N.W.2d 484
Creation of citizens utility board is constitutional. 69 Atty. Gen. 153.
General laws on enumerated subjects. Section
[As created Nov. 1871 and amended April 1993
] The legislature may provide by general law for the treatment of any subject for which lawmaking is prohibited by section 31 of this article. Subject to reasonable classifications, such laws shall be uniform in their operation throughout the state. [1870 J.R. 13, 1871 J.R. 1, 1871 c. 122, vote Nov. 1871; 1993 J.R. 3, vote April 1993
Auditing of state accounts. Section
[As created Nov. 1946
] The legislature shall provide for the auditing of state accounts and may establish such offices and prescribe such duties for the same as it shall deem necessary. [1943 J.R. 60, 1945 J.R. 73, vote Nov. 1946
Continuity of civil government. Section
[As created April 1961
] The legislature, in order to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from enemy action in the form of an attack, shall
(1) forthwith provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices, and (2) adopt such other measures as may be necessary and proper for attaining the objectives of this section. [1959 J.R. 50, 1961 J.R. 10, vote April 1961
Governor; lieutenant governor; term. Section
[As amended April 1979
The executive power shall be vested in a governor who shall hold office for 4 years; a lieutenant governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term.
[1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979
Executive orders of the Wisconsin governor. 1980 WLR 333.
Governor; 4-year term. Section
Created April 1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 J.R. 80, 1967 J.R. 10 and 15, vote April 1967; 1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979.
Lieutenant governor; 4-year term.
[Created April 1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 J.R. 80, 1967 J.R. 10 and 15, vote April 1967; 1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979.
No person except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of the state shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor.
[As amended April 1967
] The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislature. They shall be chosen jointly, by the casting by each voter of a single vote applicable to both offices beginning with the general election in 1970. The persons respectively having the highest number of votes cast jointly for them for governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected; but in case two or more slates shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, the two houses of the legislature, at its next annual session shall forthwith, by joint ballot, choose one of the slates so having an equal and the highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor. The returns of election for governor and lieutenant governor shall be made in such manner as shall be provided by law. [1965 J.R. 45, 1967 J.R. 11 and 14, vote April 1967
Powers and duties.
The governor shall be commander in chief of the military and naval forces of the state. He shall have power to convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions, and in case of invasion, or danger from the prevalence of contagious disease at the seat of government, he may convene them at any other suitable place within the state. He shall communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the state, and recommend such matters to them for their consideration as he may deem expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of the government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
The legislature cannot require the governor to make specific recommendations to a future legislature or to include future appropriations in the executive budget bill. State ex rel. Warren v. Nusbaum, 59 Wis. 2d 391
, 208 N.W.2d 780
Compensation of governor. Section
[Amended Nov. 1869 and Nov. 1926; repealed Nov. 1932; see 1868 J.R. 9, 1869 J.R. 2, 1869 c. 186, vote Nov. 1869; 1923 J.R. 80, 1925 J.R. 52, 1925 c. 413, vote Nov. 1926; 1929 J.R. 69, 1931 J.R. 52, vote Nov. 1932.
The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason he shall have the power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislature at its next meeting, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same.
Executive clemency in Wisconsin. Bauer, 1973 WLR 1154.
To Forgive, Divine: The Governor's Pardoning Power. Bach. Wis. Law. Feb. 2005.
Lieutenant governor, when governor. Section
[As amended April 1979
Upon the governor's death, resignation or removal from office, the lieutenant governor shall become governor for the balance of the unexpired term.
If the governor is absent from this state, impeached, or from mental or physical disease, becomes incapable of performing the duties of the office, the lieutenant governor shall serve as acting governor for the balance of the unexpired term or until the governor returns, the disability ceases or the impeachment is vacated. But when the governor, with the consent of the legislature, shall be out of this state in time of war at the head of the state's military force, the governor shall continue as commander in chief of the military force. [1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979
The meaning of “absence" is discussed. 68 Atty. Gen. 109.
Secretary of state, when governor. Section
[As amended April 1979
If there is a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor and the governor dies, resigns or is removed from office, the secretary of state shall become governor for the balance of the unexpired term.
If there is a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor and the governor is absent from this state, impeached, or from mental or physical disease becomes incapable of performing the duties of the office, the secretary of state shall serve as acting governor for the balance of the unexpired term or until the governor returns, the disability ceases or the impeachment is vacated. [1977 J.R. 32, 1979 J.R. 3, vote April 1979
Compensation of lieutenant governor. Section
[Amended Nov. 1869; repealed Nov. 1932; see 1868 J.R. 9, 1869 J.R. 2, 1869 c. 186, vote Nov. 1869; 1929 J.R. 70, 1931 J.R. 53, vote Nov. 1932.
Governor to approve or veto bills; proceedings on veto. Section
[As amended Nov. 1908, Nov. 1930, April 1990 and April 2008
Every bill which shall have passed the legislature shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor.
If the governor approves and signs the bill, the bill shall become law. Appropriation bills may be approved in whole or in part by the governor, and the part approved shall become law.
In approving an appropriation bill in part, the governor may not create a new word by rejecting individual letters in the words of the enrolled bill, and may not create a new sentence by combining parts of 2 or more sentences of the enrolled bill.
If the governor rejects the bill, the governor shall return the bill, together with the objections in writing, to the house in which the bill originated. The house of origin shall enter the objections at large upon the journal and proceed to reconsider the bill. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present agree to pass the bill notwithstanding the objections of the governor, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present it shall become law.
The rejected part of an appropriation bill, together with the governor's objections in writing, shall be returned to the house in which the bill originated. The house of origin shall enter the objections at large upon the journal and proceed to reconsider the rejected part of the appropriation bill. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present agree to approve the rejected part notwithstanding the objections of the governor, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present the rejected part shall become law.
In all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by ayes and noes, and the names of the members voting for or against passage of the bill or the rejected part of the bill notwithstanding the objections of the governor shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively.
Any bill not returned by the governor within 6 days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to the governor shall be law unless the legislature, by final adjournment, prevents the bill's return, in which case it shall not be law. [1905 J.R. 14, 1907 J.R. 13, 1907 c. 661, vote Nov. 1908; 1927 J.R. 37, 1929 J.R. 43, vote Nov. 1930; 1987 J.R. 76, 1989 J.R. 39, vote April 1990; 2005 J.R. 46, 2007 J.R. 26, vote April 2008
In determining whether the governor has acted in 6 days, judicial notice may be taken of the chief clerk's records to establish the date the bill was presented to the governor. State ex rel. General Motors Corp. v. Oak Creek, 49 Wis. 2d 299
, 182 N.W.2d 481
The governor may veto individual words, letters and digits, and may also reduce appropriations by striking digits, as long as what remains after the veto is a complete, entire, and workable law. Wis. Senate v. Thompson, 144 Wis. 2d 429
, 424 N.W.2d 385
The governor may approve part of an appropriation bill by reducing the amount of money appropriated by striking a number and writing in a smaller one. This power extends only to monetary figures and is not applicable outside the context of reducing appropriations. Citizens Utility Board v. Klauser, 194 Wis. 2d 485
, 534 N.W.2d 608