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STATE CONSTITUTIONS

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PREAMBLE


We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for

our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect

government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general

welfare, do establish this constitution.


ARTICLE 1.

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS


SECTION 1.  Equality; inherent rights. [As amended November

1982 and April 1986] All people are born equally free and independent,

and have certain inherent rights; among these are life,

liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments

are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent

of the governed. [1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November

1982; 1983 Joint Resolution 40, 1985 Joint Resolution 21, vote April 1986]


SECTION 2. Slavery prohibited. There shall be neither

slavery, nor involuntary servitude in this state, otherwise than

for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been

duly convicted.


SECTION 3.  Free speech; libel. Every person may freely

speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being

responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be

passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.

In all criminal prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth

may be given in evidence, and if it shall appear to the jury that

the matter charged as libelous be true, and was published with

good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be

acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law

and the fact.


SECTION 4. Right to assemble and petition. The right of

the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common

good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof,

shall never be abridged.


SECTION 5. Trial by jury; verdict in civil cases. [As

amended November 1922] The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate,

and shall extend to all cases at law without regard to the

amount in controversy; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties

in all cases in the manner prescribed by law. Provided, however,

that the legislature may, from time to time, by statute provide

that a valid verdict, in civil cases, may be based on the votes

of a specified number of the jury, not less than five−sixths

thereof. [1919 Joint Resolution 58; 1921 Joint Resolution 17 A; 1921 c. 504; vote November

1922]


SECTION 6. Excessive bail; cruel punishments. Excessive

bail shall not be required, nor shall excessive fines be

imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


SECTION 7. Rights of accused.  In all criminal prosecutions

the accused shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel;

to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against

him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process

to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf; and in

prosecutions by indictment, or information, to a speedy public

trial by an impartial jury of the county or district wherein the

offense shall have been committed; which county or district

shall have been previously ascertained by law.


SECTION 8. Prosecutions; double jeopardy; self−incrimination;

bail; habeas corpus. [As amended November 1870 and

April 1981] (1) No person may be held to answer for a criminal

offense without due process of law, and no person for the same

offense may be put twice in jeopardy of punishment, nor may be

compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself

or herself.

(2) All persons, before conviction, shall be eligible for

release under reasonable conditions designed to assure their

appearance in court, protect members of the community from

serious bodily harm or prevent the intimidation of witnesses.

Monetary conditions of release may be imposed at or after the

initial appearance only upon a finding that there is a reasonable

basis to believe that the conditions are necessary to assure

appearance in court. The legislature may authorize, by law,

courts to revoke a person’s release for a violation of a condition

of release.

(3) The legislature may by law authorize, but may not

require, circuit courts to deny release for a period not to exceed

10 days prior to the hearing required under this subsection to a

person who is accused of committing a murder punishable by

life imprisonment or a sexual assault punishable by a maximum

imprisonment of 20 years, or who is accused of committing or

attempting to commit a felony involving serious bodily harm to

another or the threat of serious bodily harm to another and who

has a previous conviction for committing or attempting to commit

a felony involving serious bodily harm to another or the

threat of serious bodily harm to another. The legislature may

authorize by law, but may not require, circuit courts to continue

to deny release to those accused persons for an additional period

not to exceed 60 days following the hearing required under this

subsection, if there is a requirement that there be a finding by the

court based on clear and convincing evidence presented at a

hearing that the accused committed the felony and a requirement

that there be a finding by the court that available conditions of

release will not adequately protect members of the community

from serious bodily harm or prevent intimidation of witnesses.

Any law enacted under this subsection shall be specific, limited

and reasonable. In determining the 10−day and 60−day periods,

the court shall omit any period of time found by the court to

result from a delay caused by the defendant or a continuance

granted which was initiated by the defendant.

(4) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be

suspended unless, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public

safety requires it. [1869 Joint Resolution 7; 1870 Joint Resolution 3; 1870 c. 118; vote

November 1870; 1979 Joint Resolution 76, 1981 Joint Resolution 8, vote April 1981]


SECTION 9. Remedy for wrongs. Every person is entitled

to a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries, or wrongs which

he may receive in his person, property, or character; he ought to

obtain justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it,

completely and without denial, promptly and without delay,

conformably to the laws.


SECTION 9m.  Victims of crime. [As created April 1993]

This state shall treat crime victims, as defined by law, with fairness,

dignity and respect for their privacy. This state shall ensure

that crime victims have all of the following privileges and

protections as provided by law: timely disposition of the case;

the opportunity to attend court proceedings unless the trial court

finds sequestration is necessary to a fair trial for the defendant;

reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal

justice process; notification of court proceedings; the opportunity

to confer with the prosecution; the opportunity to make a

statement to the court at disposition; restitution; compensation;

and information about the outcome of the case and the release

of the accused. The legislature shall provide remedies for the

violation of this section. Nothing in this section, or in any statute

enacted pursuant to this section, shall limit any right of the

accused which may be provided by law. [1993 Joint Resolution 2, vote April

1993]


SECTION 10. Treason. Treason against the state shall consist

only in levying war against the same, or in adhering to its

enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted

of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the

same overt act, or on confession in open court.


SECTION 11. Searches and seizures. The right of the

people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects

against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated;

and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported

by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to

be searched and the persons or things to be seized.


SECTION 12. Attainder; ex post facto; contracts. No bill

of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation

of contracts, shall ever be passed, and no conviction shall

work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.


SECTION 13. Private property for public use. The property

of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation

therefor.


SECTION 14. Feudal tenures; leases; alienation. All

lands within the state are declared to be allodial, and feudal tenures

are prohibited. Leases and grants of agricultural land for a

longer term than fifteen years in which rent or service of any

kind shall be reserved, and all fines and like restraints upon

alienation reserved in any grant of land, hereafter made, are

declared to be void.


SECTION 15.  Equal property rights for aliens and citizens.

No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident

aliens and citizens, in reference to the possession, enjoyment or

descent of property.


SECTION 16.  Imprisonment for debt. No person shall be

imprisoned for debt arising out of or founded on a contract,

expressed or implied.


SECTION 17.  Exemption of property of debtors. The

privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life

shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable

amount of property from seizure or sale for the payment of any

debt or liability hereafter contracted.


SECTION 18.  Freedom of worship; liberty of conscience; state

religion; public funds. [As amended November 1982]

The right of every person to worship Almighty God according

to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall

any person be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of

worship, or to maintain any ministry, without consent; nor shall

any control of, or interference with, the rights of conscience be

permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious

establishments or modes of worship; nor shall any money be

drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or

religious or theological seminaries. [1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29,

vote November 1982]


SECTION 19.  Religious tests prohibited. No religious

tests shall ever be required as a qualification for any office of

public trust under the state, and no person shall be rendered

incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity in

consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion.


SECTION 20.  Military subordinate to civil power. The

military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.


SECTION 21.  Rights of suitors. [As amended April 1977]

(1) Writs of error shall never be prohibited, and shall be issued

by such courts as the legislature designates by law.

(2) In any court of this state, any suitor may prosecute or

defend his suit either in his own proper person or by an attorney

of the suitor’s choice. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April

1977]


SECTION 22. Maintenance of free government. The

blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm

adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue,

and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.


SECTION 23. Transportation of school children.  [As

created April 1967] Nothing in this constitution shall prohibit

the legislature from providing for the safety and welfare of children

by providing for the transportation of children to and from

any parochial or private school or institution of learning. [1965

Joint Resolution 46, 1967 Joint Resolution 13, vote April 1967]


SECTION 24. Use of school buildings. [As created April

1972] Nothing in this constitution shall prohibit the legislature

from authorizing, by law, the use of public school buildings by

civic, religious or charitable organizations during nonschool

hours upon payment by the organization to the school district of

reasonable compensation for such use. [1969 Joint Resolution 38, 1971 Joint Resolution

27, vote April 1972]


SECTION 25.  Right to keep and bear arms. [As created

November 1998] The people have the right to keep and bear arms for

security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

[1995 Joint Resolution 27, 1997 Joint Resolution 21, vote November 1998]


SECTION 26. Right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game.

[As created April 2003] The people have the right to fish, hunt,

trap, and take game subject only to reasonable restrictions as

prescribed by law. [2001 Joint Resolution 16, 2003 Joint Resolution 8, vote April 2003]


ARTICLE 2.

BOUNDARIES


SECTION 1. State boundary. It is hereby ordained and

declared that the state of Wisconsin doth consent and accept of

the boundaries prescribed in the act of congress entitled “An act

to enable the people of Wisconsin territory to form a constitution

and state government, and for the admission of such state into

the Union,” approved August sixth, one thousand eight hundred

and forty−six, to wit: Beginning at the northeast corner of the

state of Illinois—that is to say, at a point in the center of Lake

Michigan where the line of forty−two degrees and thirty minutes

of north latitude crosses the same; thence running with the

boundary line of the state of Michigan, through Lake Michigan,

Green Bay, to the mouth of the Menominee river; thence up the

channel of the said river to the Brule river; thence up said last−

mentioned river to Lake Brule; thence along the southern shore

of Lake Brule in a direct line to the center of the channel between

Middle and South Islands, in the Lake of the Desert; thence in

a direct line to the head waters of the Montreal river, as marked

upon the survey made by Captain Cramm; thence down the main

channel of the Montreal river to the middle of Lake Superior;

thence through the center of Lake Superior to the mouth of the

St. Louis river; thence up the main channel of said river to the

first rapids in the same, above the Indian village, according to

Nicollet’s map; thence due south to the main branch of the river

St. Croix; thence down the main channel of said river to the Mississippi;

thence down the center of the main channel of that river

to the northwest corner of the state of Illinois; thence due east

with the northern boundary of the state of Illinois to the place of

beginning, as established by “An act to enable the people of the

Illinois territory to form a constitution and state government, and

for the admission of such state into the Union on an equal footing

with the original states,” approved April 18th, 1818.


SECTION 2. Enabling act accepted.  [As amended April

1951] The propositions contained in the act of congress are

hereby accepted, ratified and confirmed, and shall remain irrevocable

without the consent of the United States; and it is hereby

ordained that this state shall never interfere with the primary disposal

of the soil within the same by the United States, nor with

any regulations congress may find necessary for securing the

title in such soil to bona fide purchasers thereof; and in no case

shall nonresident proprietors be taxed higher than residents.

Provided, that nothing in this constitution, or in the act of congress

aforesaid, shall in any manner prejudice or affect the right

of the state of Wisconsin to 500,000 acres of land granted to said

state, and to be hereafter selected and located by and under the

act of congress entitled “An act to appropriate the proceeds of

the sales of the public lands, and grant pre−emption rights,”

approved September fourth, one thousand eight hundred and

forty−one. [1949 Joint Resolution 11; 1951 Joint Resolution 7; vote April 1951]


ARTICLE 3.

SUFFRAGE


SECTION 1.  Electors. [As amended November 1882, November 1908,

November 1934; repealed April 1986; created April 1986] Every

United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election

district in this state is a qualified elector of that district.

[1881 Joint Resolution 26 A, 1882 Joint Resolution 5, 1882 c. 272, vote November 1882; 1905

Joint Resolution 15, 1907 Joint Resolution 25, 1907 c. 661, vote November 1908; 1931 Joint Resolution 91,

1933 Joint Resolution 76, vote November 1934; 1983 Joint Resolution 30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote

April 1986]


SECTION 2.  Implementation. [As repealed April 1986;

created April 1986] Laws may be enacted:

(1) Defining residency.

(2) Providing for registration of electors.

(3) Providing for absentee voting.

(4) Excluding from the right of suffrage persons:

(A) Convicted of a felony, unless restored to civil rights.

(b) Adjudged by a court to be incompetent or partially

incompetent, unless the judgment specifies that the person is

capable of understanding the objective of the elective process or

the judgment is set aside.

(5) Subject to ratification by the people at a general election,

extending the right of suffrage to additional classes. [1983 Joint Resolution

30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1986]


SECTION 3.  Secret ballot. [As repealed April 1986; created

April 1986] All votes shall be by secret ballot. [1983 Joint Resolution 30,

1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1986]


SECTION 4.  Residence saved. [Repealed April 1986; see

1983 Joint Resolution 30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1986.]


SECTION 5. Military stationing does not confer residence.

[Repealed April 1986; see 1983 Joint Resolution 30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14,

vote April 1986.]


SECTION 6. Exclusion from suffrage. [Repealed April

1986; see 1983 Joint Resolution 30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1986.]


ARTICLE 4.

LEGISLATIVE


SECTION 1. Legislative power. The legislative power shall

be vested in a senate and assembly.


SECTION 2.  Legislature, how constituted. The number

of the members of the assembly shall never be less than fifty−

four nor more than one hundred. The senate shall consist of a

number not more than one−third nor less than one−fourth of the

number of the members of the assembly.


SECTION 3. Apportionment.  [As amended November 1910, November

1962 and November 1982] At its first session after each enumeration

made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall

apportion and district anew the members of the senate and

assembly, according to the number of inhabitants. [1907 Joint Resolution 30,

1909 Joint Resolution 55, 1909 c. 478, vote November 1910; 1959 Joint Resolution 30, 1961

Joint Resolution 32, vote November 6, 1962; 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November

1982]


SECTION 4. Representatives to the assembly, how chosen.  

[As amended November 1881 and November 1982] The members of

the assembly shall be chosen biennially, by single districts, on

the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November in even−

numbered years, by the qualified electors of the several districts,

such districts to be bounded by county, precinct, town or ward

lines, to consist of contiguous territory and be in as compact

form as practicable. [1880 Joint Resolution 9S, 1881 Joint Resolution 7A, 1881 c. 262,

vote November 1881; 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982]


SECTION 5. Senators, how chosen. [As amended November

1881 and November 1982] The senators shall be elected by single districts

of convenient contiguous territory, at the same time and in

the same manner as members of the assembly are required to be

chosen; and no assembly district shall be divided in the formation

of a senate district. The senate districts shall be numbered

in the regular series, and the senators shall be chosen alternately

from the odd and even−numbered districts for the term of 4

years. [1880 Joint Resolution 9S, 1881 Joint Resolution 7A, 1881 c. 262, vote November 1881;

1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982]


SECTION 6. Qualifications of legislators. No person shall

be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year

within the state, and be a qualified elector in the district which

he may be chosen to represent.


SECTION 7.  Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory

attendance. Each house shall be the judge of the

elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a

majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a

smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel

the attendance of absent members in such manner and under

such penalties as each house may provide.


SECTION 8. Rules; contempts; expulsion. Each house

may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt

and disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two−

thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; but no member

shall be expelled a second time for the same cause.


SECTION 9. Officers. [As amended April 1979] Each house

shall choose its presiding officers from its own members. [1977

Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979]


SECTION 10. Journals; open doors; adjournments.

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish

the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each

house shall be kept open except when the public welfare shall

require secrecy. Neither house shall, without consent of the

other, adjourn for more than three days.


SECTION 11. Meeting of legislature.  [As amended November

1881 and April 1968] The legislature shall meet at the seat of

government at such time as shall be provided by law, unless convened

by the governor in special session, and when so convened

no business shall be transacted except as shall be necessary to

accomplish the special purposes for which it was convened.

[1880 Joint Resolution 9S, 1881 Joint Resolution 7A, 1881 c. 262, vote November 1881; 1965

Joint Resolution 57, 1967 Joint Resolution 48, vote April 1968]


SECTION 12.  Ineligibility of legislators to office. No

member of the legislature shall, during the term for which he was

elected, be appointed or elected to any civil office in the state,

which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall

have been increased, during the term for which he was elected.


SECTION 13.  Ineligibility of federal officers. [As amended

April 1966] No person being a member of congress, or holding

any military or civil office under the United States, shall be eligible

to a seat in the legislature; and if any person shall, after his

election as a member of the legislature, be elected to congress,

or be appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government

of the United States, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his

seat. This restriction shall not prohibit a legislator from accepting

short periods of active duty as a member of the reserve or

from serving in the armed forces during any emergency declared

by the executive. [1963 Joint Resolution 34, 1965 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1966.]


SECTION 14.  Filling vacancies. The governor shall issue

writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either

house of the legislature.


SECTION 15. Exemption from arrest and civil process.

Members of the legislature shall in all cases, except treason, felony

and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest; nor shall

they be subject to any civil process, during the session of the legislature,

nor for fifteen days next before the commencement and

after the termination of each session.


SECTION 16.  Privilege in debate. No member of the legislature

shall be liable in any civil action, or criminal prosecution

whatever, for words spoken in debate.


SECTION 17. Enactment of laws. [As amended April 1977]

(1) The style of all laws of the state shall be “The people of the

state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact

as follows:”.

(2) No law shall be enacted except by bill. No law shall be

in force until published.

(3) The legislature shall provide by law for the speedy publication

of all laws. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 18.  Title of private bills. No private or local bill

which may be passed by the legislature shall embrace more than

one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.


SECTION 19.  Origin of bills. Any bill may originate in either

house of the legislature, and a bill passed by one house may be

amended by the other.


SECTION 20.  Yeas and nays. The yeas and nays of the members

of either house on any question shall, at the request of one−

sixth of those present, be entered on the journal.


SECTION 21. Compensation of members.  [Amended November

1867 and November 1881; repealed April 1929; see 1865 Joint Resolution 9; 1866

Joint Resolution 3; 1867 c. 25, vote November 1867; 1880 Joint Resolution 9S, 1881 Joint Resolution 7A,

1881 c. 262, vote November 1881; 1927 Joint Resolution 57, 1929 Joint Resolution 6, vote April

1929.]


SECTION 22.  Powers of county boards. The legislature

may confer upon the boards of supervisors of the several counties

of the state such powers of a local, legislative and administrative

character as they shall from time to time prescribe.


SECTION 23. Town and county government. [As

amended November 1962, April 1969 and April 1972] The legislature

shall establish but one system of town government, which shall

be as nearly uniform as practicable; but the legislature may provide

for the election at large once in every 4 years of a chief

executive officer in any county with such powers of an administrative

character as they may from time to time prescribe in

accordance with this section and shall establish one or more systems

of county government. [1959 Joint Resolution 68, 1961 Joint Resolution 64, vote

November 6, 1962; 1967 Joint Resolution 49, 1969 Joint Resolution 2, vote April 1969; 1969

Joint Resolution 32, 1971 Joint Resolution 13, vote April 1972]


SECTION 23a.  Chief executive officer to approve or veto resolutions

or ordinances; proceedings on veto.

[As created November 1962 and amended April 1969] Every resolution

or ordinance passed by the county board in any county shall,

before it becomes effective, be presented to the chief executive

officer. If he approves, he shall sign it; if not, he shall return it

with his objections, which objections shall be entered at large

upon the journal and the board shall proceed to reconsider the

matter. Appropriations may be approved in whole or in part by

the chief executive officer and the part approved shall become

law, and the part objected to shall be returned in the same manner

as provided for in other resolutions or ordinances. If, after such

reconsideration, two−thirds of the members−elect of the county

board agree to pass the resolution or ordinance or the part of the

resolution or ordinance objected to, it shall become effective on

the date prescribed but not earlier than the date of passage following

reconsideration. In all such cases, the votes of the members

of the county board shall be determined by ayes and noes

and the names of the members voting for or against the resolution

or ordinance or the part thereof objected to shall be entered

on the journal. If any resolution or ordinance is not returned by

the chief executive officer to the county board at its first meeting

occurring not less than 6 days, Sundays excepted, after it has

been presented to him, it shall become effective unless the

county board has recessed or adjourned for a period in excess of

60 days, in which case it shall not be effective without his

approval. [1959 Joint Resolution 68, 1961 Joint Resolution 64, vote November 6, 1962; 1967

Joint Resolution 49, 1969 Joint Resolution 2, vote April 1969]


SECTION 24.  Gambling. [As amended April 1965, April

1973, April 1977, April 1987, April 1993 and April 1999]

(1) Except as provided in this section, the legislature may not

authorize gambling in any form.

(2) Except as otherwise provided by law, the following

activities do not constitute consideration as an element of gambling:

(A) To listen to or watch a television or radio program.

(b) To fill out a coupon or entry blank, whether or not proof

of purchase is required.

(c) To visit a mercantile establishment or other place without

being required to make a purchase or pay an admittance fee.

(3) The legislature may authorize the following bingo games

licensed by the state, but all profits shall accrue to the licensed

organization and no salaries, fees or profits may be paid to any

other organization or person: bingo games operated by religious,

charitable, service, fraternal or veterans’ organizations or those

to which contributions are deductible for federal or state income

tax purposes. All moneys received by the state that are attributable

to bingo games shall be used for property tax relief for residents

of this state as provided by law. The distribution of moneys

that are attributable to bingo games may not vary based on

the income or age of the person provided the property tax relief.

The distribution of moneys that are attributable to bingo games

shall not be subject to the uniformity requirement of section 1 of

article 8. In this subsection, the distribution of all moneys

attributable to bingo games shall include any earnings on the

moneys received by the state that are attributable to bingo

games, but shall not include any moneys used for the regulation

of, and enforcement of law relating to, bingo games.

(4) The legislature may authorize the following raffle games

licensed by the state, but all profits shall accrue to the licensed

local organization and no salaries, fees or profits may be paid to

any other organization or person: raffle games operated by local

religious, charitable, service, fraternal or veterans’ organizations

or those to which contributions are deductible for federal

or state income tax purposes. The legislature shall limit the number

of raffles conducted by any such organization.

(5) This section shall not prohibit pari−mutuel on−track betting

as provided by law. The state may not own or operate any

facility or enterprise for pari−mutuel betting, or lease any state−

owned land to any other owner or operator for such purposes.

All moneys received by the state that are attributable to pari−mutuel

on−track betting shall be used for property tax relief for residents

of this state as provided by law. The distribution of moneys

that are attributable to pari−mutuel on−track betting may not

vary based on the income or age of the person provided the property

tax relief. The distribution of moneys that are attributable

to pari−mutuel on−track betting shall not be subject to the uniformity

requirement of section 1 of article 8. In this subsection,

the distribution of all moneys attributable to pari−mutuel

on−track betting shall include any earnings on the moneys

received by the state that are attributable to pari−mutuel on−

track betting, but shall not include any moneys used for the regulation

of, and enforcement of law relating to, pari−mutuel on−

track betting.

(6) (A) The legislature may authorize the creation of a lottery

to be operated by the state as provided by law. The expenditure

of public funds or of revenues derived from lottery operations to

engage in promotional advertising of the Wisconsin state lottery

is prohibited. Any advertising of the state lottery shall indicate

the odds of a specific lottery ticket to be selected as the winning

ticket for each prize amount offered. The net proceeds of the

state lottery shall be deposited in the treasury of the state, to be

used for property tax relief for residents of this state as provided

by law. The distribution of the net proceeds of the state lottery

may not vary based on the income or age of the person provided

the property tax relief. The distribution of the net proceeds of

the state lottery shall not be subject to the uniformity requirement

of section 1 of article 8. In this paragraph, the distribution

of the net proceeds of the state lottery shall include any earnings

on the net proceeds of the state lottery.

(b) The lottery authorized under par. (A) shall be an enterprise

that entitles the player, by purchasing a ticket, to participate in

a game of chance if: 1) the winning tickets are randomly predetermined

and the player reveals preprinted numbers or symbols

from which it can be immediately determined whether the ticket

is a winning ticket entitling the player to win a prize as prescribed

in the features and procedures for the game, including an

opportunity to win a prize in a secondary or subsequent chance

drawing or game; or 2) the ticket is evidence of the numbers or

symbols selected by the player or, at the player’s option, selected

by a computer, and the player becomes entitled to a prize as prescribed

in the features and procedures for the game, including an

opportunity to win a prize in a secondary or subsequent chance

drawing or game if some or all of the player’s symbols or numbers

are selected in a chance drawing or game, if the player’s

ticket is randomly selected by the computer at the time of purchase

or if the ticket is selected in a chance drawing.

(c) Notwithstanding the authorization of a state lottery under

par. (A), the following games, or games simulating any of the following

games, may not be conducted by the state as a lottery: 1)

any game in which winners are selected based on the results of

a race or sporting event; 2) any banking card game, including

blackjack, baccarat or chemin de fer; 3) poker; 4) roulette; 5)

craps or any other game that involves rolling dice; 6) keno; 7)

bingo 21, bingo jack, bingolet or bingo craps; 8) any game of

chance that is placed on a slot machine or any mechanical, electromechanical

or electronic device that is generally available to

be played at a gambling casino; 9) any game or device that is

commonly known as a video game of chance or a video gaming

machine or that is commonly considered to be a video gambling

machine, unless such machine is a video device operated by the

state in a game authorized under par. (A) to permit the sale of tickets

through retail outlets under contract with the state and the

device does not determine or indicate whether the player has

won a prize, other than by verifying that the player’s ticket or

some or all of the player’s symbols or numbers on the player’s

ticket have been selected in a chance drawing, or by verifying

that the player’s ticket has been randomly selected by a central

system computer at the time of purchase; 10) any game that is

similar to a game listed in this paragraph; or 11) any other game

that is commonly considered to be a form of gambling and is not,

or is not substantially similar to, a game conducted by the state

under par. (A). No game conducted by the state under par. (A)

may permit a player of the game to purchase a ticket, or to otherwise

participate in the game, from a residence by using a computer,

telephone or other form of electronic, telecommunication,

video or technological aid. [1963 Joint Resolution 35, 1965 Joint Resolution 2, vote April

1965; 1971 Joint Resolution 31, 1973 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1973; 1975 Joint Resolution 19,

1977 Joint Resolution 6, vote April 1977; 1985 Joint Resolution 36, 1987 Joint Resolution 3, vote

April 1987; 1985 Joint Resolution 35, 1987 J. R. 4, vote April 1987; 1993 Joint Resolution

3, vote April 1993; 1999 Joint Resolution 2, vote April 1999]


SECTION 25. Stationery and printing.  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.


SECTION 26.  Extra compensation; salary change.

(1) [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.

(2) Except as provided in this subsection, the compensation

of a public officer may not be increased or diminished during the

term of office:

(A) 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.

(b) 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.

(3) 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 Joint Resolution 41, 1955 Joint Resolution

17, vote Apr. 3, 1956; 1965 Joint Resolution 96, 1967 Joint Resolution 17, vote April

1967; 1971 Joint Resolution 12, 1973 Joint Resolution 15, vote April 1974; 1975 Joint Resolution 13,

1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977; 1991 Joint Resolution 13, vote April 1992]


SECTION 27. Suits against state. The legislature shall

direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be

brought against the state.


SECTION 28.  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.


SECTION 29.  Militia. 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.


SECTION 30.  Elections by legislature. [As amended November

1982] All elections made by the legislature shall be by roll call

vote entered in the journals. [1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote

November 1982]


SECTION 31. Special and private laws prohibited. [As

created November 1871 and amended November 1892 and April 1993] The

legislature is prohibited from enacting any special or private

laws in the following cases:

(1) For changing the names of persons, constituting one person

the heir at law of another or granting any divorce.

(2) 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.

(3) For authorizing persons to keep ferries across streams at

points wholly within this state.

(4) For authorizing the sale or mortgage of real or personal

property of minors or others under disability.

(5) For locating or changing any county seat.

(6) For assessment or collection of taxes or for extending the

time for the collection thereof.

(7) For granting corporate powers or privileges, except to

cities.

(8) For authorizing the apportionment of any part of the

school fund.

(9) For incorporating any city, town or village, or to amend

the charter thereof. [1870 Joint Resolution 13, 1871 Joint Resolution 1, 1871 c. 122, vote

November 1871; 1889 Joint Resolution 4, 1891 Joint Resolution 4, 1891 c. 362, vote November 1892;

1993 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1993]


SECTION 32.  General laws on enumerated subjects.

[As created November 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 Joint Resolution 13, 1871 Joint Resolution 1,

1871 c. 122, vote November 1871; 1993 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1993]


SECTION 33.  Auditing of state accounts.  [As created November

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 Joint Resolution 60,

1945 Joint Resolution 73, vote November 1946]


SECTION 34.  Continuity of civil government.  [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 Joint Resolution 50, 1961 Joint Resolution 10, vote April 1961]


ARTICLE 5.

EXECUTIVE


SECTION 1.  Governor; lieutenant governor; term.  [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

Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979]


SECTION 1m.  Governor; 4−year term.  [Created April

1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 Joint Resolution 80, 1967 Joint Resolution 10 and

15, vote April 1967; 1977 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979.]


SECTION 1n.  Lieutenant governor; 4−year term.

[Created April 1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 Joint Resolution 80,

1967 Joint Resolution 10 and 15, vote April 1967; 1977 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3,

vote April 1979.]


SECTION 2.   Eligibility. 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.


SECTION 3.   Election. [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 Joint Resolution 45, 1967

Joint Resolution 11 and 14, vote April 1967]


SECTION 4.   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.


SECTION 5.  Compensation of governor.  [Amended November

1869 and November 1926; repealed November 1932; see 1868 Joint Resolution 9, 1869

Joint Resolution 2, 1869 c. 186, vote November 1869; 1923 Joint Resolution 80, 1925 Joint Resolution 52,

1925 c. 413, vote November 1926; 1929 Joint Resolution 69, 1931 Joint Resolution 52, vote

November 1932.]


SECTION 6.   Pardoning power. 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.


SECTION 7.   Lieutenant governor, when governor. [As

amended April 1979] (1) Upon the governor’s death, resignation

or removal from office, the lieutenant governor shall

become governor for the balance of the unexpired term.

(2) 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 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote

April 1979]


SECTION 8.  Secretary of state, when governor. [As

amended April 1979] (1) 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.

(2) 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 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979]


SECTION 9.  Compensation of lieutenant governor.

[Amended November 1869; repealed November 1932; see 1868 Joint Resolution 9, 1869

Joint Resolution 2, 1869 c. 186, vote November 1869; 1929 Joint Resolution 70, 1931 Joint Resolution 53,

vote November 1932.]


SECTION 10.   Governor to approve or veto bills; proceedings on

veto. [As amended November 1908, November 1930, Apr. 1990

and Apr. 2008 ]

(1) (A) Every bill which shall have passed the

legislature shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the

governor.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(2) (A) 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.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(3) 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 Joint Resolution

14, 1907 Joint Resolution 13, 1907 c. 661, vote November 1908; 1927 Joint Resolution 37, 1929

Joint Resolution 43, vote November 1930; 1987 A.Joint Resolution 71, 1989 S.Joint Resolution 11, vote Apr.

1990]


ARTICLE 6.

ADMINISTRATIVE


SECTION 1.   Election of secretary of state, treasurer and attorney

general; term. [As amended April 1979] The

qualified electors of this state, at the times and places of choosing

the members of the legislature, shall in 1970 and every 4

years thereafter elect a secretary of state, treasurer and attorney

general who shall hold their offices for 4 years. [1977 Joint Resolution 32,

1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979]


SECTION 1m.  Secretary of state; 4−year term. [Created

April 1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 Joint Resolution 80, 1967 Joint Resolution 10

and 15, vote April 1967; 1977 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April

1979.]


Section 1n. Treasurer; 4−year term.  [Created April 1967;

repealed April 1979; see 1965 Joint Resolution 80, 1967 Joint Resolution 10 and 15, vote

April 1967; 1977 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979.]


Section 1p.   Attorney general; 4−year term. [Created

April 1967; repealed April 1979; see 1965 Joint Resolution 80, 1967 Joint Resolution 10

and 15, vote April 1967; 1977 Joint Resolution 32, 1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April

1979.]


SECTION 2.  Secretary of state; duties, compensation.

[As amended November 1946] The secretary of state shall keep a fair

record of the official acts of the legislature and executive department

of the state, and shall, when required, lay the same and all

matters relative thereto before either branch of the legislature.

He shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned him by

law. He shall receive as a compensation for his services yearly

such sum as shall be provided by law, and shall keep his office

at the seat of government. [1943 Joint Resolution 60, 1945 Joint Resolution 73, vote November

1946]


SECTION 3.   Treasurer and attorney general; duties, compensation.

The powers, duties and compensation of the

treasurer and attorney general shall be prescribed by law.


SECTION 4.  County officers; election, terms, removal; vacancies.

[As amended November 1882, April 1929, November 1962,

April 1965, April 1967, April 1972, April 1982, November 1998, April

2005] (1) (A) Except as provided in pars. (b) and (c) and sub. (2),

coroners, registers of deeds, district attorneys, and all other

elected county officers, except judicial officers, sheriffs, and

chief executive officers, shall be chosen by the electors of the

respective counties once in every 2 years.

(b) Beginning with the first general election at which the governor

is elected which occurs after the ratification of this paragraph,

sheriffs shall be chosen by the electors of the respective

counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising

each combination of counties combined by the legislature

for that purpose, for the term of 4 years and coroners in

counties in which there is a coroner shall be chosen by the electors

of the respective counties, or by the electors of all of the

respective counties comprising each combination of counties

combined by the legislature for that purpose, for the term of 4

years.

(c) Beginning with the first general election at which the

president is elected which occurs after the ratification of this

paragraph, district attorneys, registers of deeds, county clerks,

and treasurers shall be chosen by the electors of the respective

counties, or by the electors of all of the respective counties comprising

each combination of counties combined by the legislature

for that purpose, for the term of 4 years and surveyors in

counties in which the office of surveyor is filled by election shall

be chosen by the electors of the respective counties, or by the

electors of all of the respective counties comprising each combination

of counties combined by the legislature for that purpose,

for the term of 4 years.

(2) The offices of coroner and surveyor in counties having

a population of 500,000 or more are abolished. Counties not

having a population of 500,000 shall have the option of retaining

the elective office of coroner or instituting a medical examiner

system. Two or more counties may institute a joint medical

examiner system.

(3) (A) Sheriffs may not hold any other partisan office.

(b) Sheriffs may be required by law to renew their security

from time to time, and in default of giving such new security

their office shall be deemed vacant.

(4) The governor may remove any elected county officer

mentioned in this section except a county clerk, treasurer, or surveyor,

giving to the officer a copy of the charges and an opportunity

of being heard.

(5) All vacancies in the offices of coroner, register of deeds

or district attorney shall be filled by appointment. The person

appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office only for the unexpired

portion of the term to which appointed and until a successor

shall be elected and qualified.

(6) When a vacancy occurs in the office of sheriff, the

vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the governor, and the

person appointed shall serve until his or her successor is elected

and qualified. [1881 Joint Resolution 16A, 1882 Joint Resolution 3, 1882 c. 290, vote

November 1882; 1927 Joint Resolution 24, 1929 Joint Resolution 13, vote April 1929; 1959

Joint Resolution 68, 1961 Joint Resolution 64, vote November 6, 1962; 1963 Joint Resolution 30, 1965 Joint Resolution

5, vote April 1965; 1965 Joint Resolution 61, 1967 Joint Resolution 12, vote April 1967;

1969 Joint Resolution 33, 1971 Joint Resolution 21, vote April 1972; 1979 Joint Resolution 38, 1981

Joint Resolution 15, vote April 1982; 1995 Joint Resolution 23, 1997 Joint Resolution 18, vote November

1998; 2003 Joint Resolution 12, 2005 Joint Resolution 2, vote April 2005]


ARTICLE 7.

JUDICIARY


SECTION 1.   Impeachment; trial. [As amended November 1932]

The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the

senate. The assembly shall have the power of impeaching all

civil officers of this state for corrupt conduct in office, or for

crimes and misdemeanors; but a majority of all the members

elected shall concur in an impeachment. On the trial of an

impeachment against the governor, the lieutenant governor shall

not act as a member of the court. No judicial officer shall exercise

his office, after he shall have been impeached, until his

acquittal. Before the trial of an impeachment the members of the

court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try

the impeachment according to evidence; and no person shall be

convicted without the concurrence of two−thirds of the members

present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not

extend further than to removal from office, or removal from

office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, profit or

trust under the state; but the party impeached shall be liable to

indictment, trial and punishment according to law. [1929 Joint Resolution 72,

1931 Joint Resolution 58, vote November 1932]


SECTION 2.   Court system. [As amended April 1966 and

April 1977] The judicial power of this state shall be vested in a

unified court system consisting of one supreme court, a court of

appeals, a circuit court, such trial courts of general uniform statewide

jurisdiction as the legislature may create by law, and a

municipal court if authorized by the legislature under section 14.

[1963 Joint Resolution 48, 1965 Joint Resolution 50, vote April 1966; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977

Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]Supreme court: jurisdiction. SECTION 3. [As amended

April 1977] (1) The supreme court shall have superintending

and administrative authority over all courts.

(2) The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction over all

courts and may hear original actions and proceedings. The

supreme court may issue all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdiction.

(3) The supreme court may review judgments and orders of

the court of appeals, may remove cases from the court of appeals

and may accept cases on certification by the court of appeals.

[1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 4.   Supreme court: election, chief justice, court system

administration. [As amended November 1877, April

1889, April 1903 and April 1977] (1) The supreme court shall

have 7 members who shall be known as justices of the supreme

court. Justices shall be elected for 10−year terms of office commencing

with the August 1 next succeeding the election. Only

one justice may be elected in any year. Any 4 justices shall

constitute a quorum for the conduct of the court’s business.

(2) The justice having been longest a continuous member of

said court, or in case 2 or more such justices shall have served

for the same length of time, the justice whose term first expires,

shall be the chief justice. The justice so designated as chief justice

may, irrevocably, decline to serve as chief justice or resign

as chief justice but continue to serve as a justice of the supreme

court.

(3) The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative

head of the judicial system and shall exercise this

administrative authority pursuant to procedures adopted by the

supreme court. The chief justice may assign any judge of a court

of record to aid in the proper disposition of judicial business in

any court of record except the supreme court. [1876 Joint Resolution 10,

1877 Joint Resolution 1, 1877 c. 48, vote November 1877; 1887 Joint Resolution 5, 1889 Joint Resolution

3, 1889 c. 22, vote April 1889; 1901 Joint Resolution 8, 1903 Joint Resolution 7, 1903 c.

10, vote April 1903; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 5.   Judicial circuits. [Repealed April 1977; see

1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.]


SECTION 5.  Court of appeals.  [As created April 1977]

(1) The legislature shall by law combine the judicial circuits of

the state into one or more districts for the court of appeals and

shall designate in each district the locations where the appeals

court shall sit for the convenience of litigants.

(2) For each district of the appeals court there shall be chosen

by the qualified electors of the district one or more appeals

judges as prescribed by law, who shall sit as prescribed by law.

Appeals judges shall be elected for 6−year terms and shall reside

in the district from which elected. No alteration of district or circuit

boundaries shall have the effect of removing an appeals

judge from office during the judge’s term. In case of an increase

in the number of appeals judges, the first judge or judges shall

be elected for full terms unless the legislature prescribes a

shorter initial term for staggering of terms.

(3) The appeals court shall have such appellate jurisdiction

in the district, including jurisdiction to review administrative

proceedings, as the legislature may provide by law, but shall

have no original jurisdiction other than by prerogative writ. The

appeals court may issue all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdiction

and shall have supervisory authority over all actions and

proceedings in the courts in the district. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution

7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 6.   Circuit court: boundaries. [As amended April

1977] The legislature shall prescribe by law the number of judicial

circuits, making them as compact and convenient as practicable,

and bounding them by county lines. No alteration of circuit

boundaries shall have the effect of removing a circuit judge

from office during the judge’s term. In case of an increase of circuits,

the first judge or judges shall be elected. [1975 Joint Resolution 13,

1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 7.   Circuit court: election. [As amended April

1897, November 1924 and April 1977] For each circuit there shall be

chosen by the qualified electors thereof one or more circuit

judges as prescribed by law. Circuit judges shall be elected for

6−year terms and shall reside in the circuit from which elected.

[1895 Joint Resolution 8, 1897 Joint Resolution 9, 1897 c. 69, vote April 1897; 1921 Joint Resolution

24S, 1923 Joint Resolution 64, 1923 c. 408, vote November 1924; 1975 Joint Resolution 13,

1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 8.   Circuit court: jurisdiction. [As amended April

1977] Except as otherwise provided by law, the circuit court

shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal

within this state and such appellate jurisdiction in the circuit as

the legislature may prescribe by law. The circuit court may issue

all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdiction. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977

Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 9.   Judicial elections, vacancies. [As amended

April 1953 and April 1977] When a vacancy occurs in the office

of justice of the supreme court or judge of any court of record,

the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor,

which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified.

There shall be no election for a justice or judge at the partisan

general election for state or county officers, nor within 30 days

either before or after such election. [1951 Joint Resolution 41, 1953 Joint Resolution 12,

vote April 1953; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 10.   Judges: eligibility to office. [As amended

November 1912 and April 1977] (1) No justice of the supreme court

or judge of any court of record shall hold any other office of public

trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which

elected. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge who

shall not, at the time of election or appointment, be a qualified

elector within the jurisdiction for which chosen.

(2) Justices of the supreme court and judges of the courts of

record shall receive such compensation as the legislature may

authorize by law, but may not receive fees of office. [1909 Joint Resolution

34, 1911 Joint Resolution 24, 1911 c. 665, vote November 1912; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977

Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 11.  Terms of courts; change of judges.

[Repealed April 1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April

1977.]


SECTION 11.   Disciplinary proceedings. [As created April

1977] Each justice or judge shall be subject to reprimand, censure,

suspension, removal for cause or for disability, by the

supreme court pursuant to procedures established by the legislature

by law. No justice or judge removed for cause shall be eligible

for reappointment or temporary service. This section is alternative

to, and cumulative with, the methods of removal provided

in sections 1 and 13 of this article and section 12 of article 13.

[1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977]


SECTION 12.   Clerks of circuit and supreme courts. [As

amended November 1882, April 2005] (1) There shall be a clerk of

circuit court chosen in each county organized for judicial purposes

by the qualified electors thereof, who, except as provided

in sub. (2), shall hold office for two years, subject to removal as

provided by law.

(2) Beginning with the first general election at which the

governor is elected which occurs after the ratification of this subsection,

a clerk of circuit court shall be chosen by the electors of

each county, for the term of 4 years, subject to removal as provided

by law.

(3) In case of a vacancy, the judge of the circuit court may

appoint a clerk until the vacancy is filled by an election.

(4) The clerk of circuit court shall give such security as the

legislature requires by law.(5) The supreme court shall appoint its own clerk, and may

appoint a clerk of circuit court to be the clerk of the supreme

court. [1881 Joint Resolution 16A, 1882 Joint Resolution 3, 1882 c. 290, vote November 1882;

2003 Joint Resolution 12, 2005 Joint Resolution 2, vote April 2005]


SECTION 13. Justices and judges: removal by address.  

[As amended April 1974 and April 1977] Any justice or

judge may be removed from office by address of both houses of

the legislature, if two−thirds of all the members elected to each

house concur therein, but no removal shall be made by virtue of

this section unless the justice or judge complained of is served

with a copy of the charges, as the ground of address, and has had

an opportunity of being heard. On the question of removal, the

ayes and noes shall be entered on the journals. [1971 Joint Resolution 30,

1973 Joint Resolution 25, vote April 1974; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote

April 1977]


SECTION 14. Municipal court. SECTION 14. [As amended April 1977]

The legislature by law may authorize each city, village and town

to establish a municipal court. All municipal courts shall have

uniform jurisdiction limited to actions and proceedings arising

under ordinances of the municipality in which established.

Judges of municipal courts may receive such compensation as

provided by the municipality in which established, but may not

receive fees of office. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April

1977]


SECTION 15. Justices of the peace. [Amended April 1945;

repealed April 1966; see 1943 Joint Resolution 27, 1945 Joint Resolution 2, vote April

1945; 1963 Joint Resolution 48, 1965 Joint Resolution 50, vote April 1966.]


SECTION 16. Tribunals of conciliation. [Repealed April

1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.]


SECTION 17. Style of writs; indictments. [Repealed April

1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.]


SECTION 18. Suit tax. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution

13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.]


SECTION 19. Testimony in equity suits; master in chancery.

[Repealed April 1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7,

vote April 1977.]


SECTION 20. Rights of suitors. [Repealed April 1977; see

1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.] See Art. I, sec. 21.


SECTION 21. Publication of laws and decisions.

[Repealed April 1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April

1977.] See Art. IV, sec. 17.


SECTION 22. Commissioners to revise code of practice.

[Repealed April 1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote

April 1977.]


SECTION 23. Court commissioners. [Repealed April

1977; see 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1977.]


SECTION 24. Justices and judges: eligibility for office; retirement.

[As created April 1955 and amended April

1968 and April 1977] (1) To be eligible for the office of

supreme court justice or judge of any court of record, a person

must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state and have

been so licensed for 5 years immediately prior to election or

appointment.

(2) Unless assigned temporary service under subsection (3),

no person may serve as a supreme court justice or judge of a

court of record beyond the July 31 following the date on which

such person attains that age, of not less than 70 years, which the

legislature shall prescribe by law.

(3) A person who has served as a supreme court justice or

judge of a court of record may, as provided by law, serve as a

judge of any court of record except the supreme court on a temporary

basis if assigned by the chief justice of the supreme court.

[1953 Joint Resolution 46, 1955 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1955; 1965 Joint Resolution 101,

1967 Joint Resolution 22 and 56, vote April 1968; 1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7,

vote April 1977]


ARTICLE 8.

FINANCE


SECTION 1. Rule of taxation uniform; income, privilege and

occupation taxes. [As amended November 1908, April

1927, April 1941, April 1961 and April 1974] The rule of taxation

shall be uniform but the legislature may empower cities, villages

or towns to collect and return taxes on real estate located

therein by optional methods. Taxes shall be levied upon such

property with such classifications as to forests and minerals

including or separate or severed from the land, as the legislature

shall prescribe. Taxation of agricultural land and undeveloped

land, both as defined by law, need not be uniform with the taxation

of each other nor with the taxation of other real property.

Taxation of merchants’ stock−in−trade, manufacturers’ materials

and finished products, and livestock need not be uniform

with the taxation of real property and other personal property,

but the taxation of all such merchants’ stock−in−trade, manufacturers’

materials and finished products and livestock shall be

uniform, except that the legislature may provide that the value

thereof shall be determined on an average basis. Taxes may also

be imposed on incomes, privileges and occupations, which taxes

may be graduated and progressive, and reasonable exemptions

may be provided. [1905 Joint Resolution 12, 1907 Joint Resolution 29, 1907 c. 661, vote

November 1908; 1925 Joint Resolution 62, 1927 Joint Resolution 13, vote April 1927; 1939

Joint Resolution 88, 1941 Joint Resolution 18, vote April 1941; 1959 Joint Resolution 78, 1961 Joint Resolution

13, vote April 1961; 1971 Joint Resolution 39, 1973 Joint Resolution 29, vote April 1974]


SECTION 2. Appropriations; limitation. [As amended November

1877] No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance

of an appropriation by law. No appropriation shall be

made for the payment of any claim against the state except

claims of the United States and judgments, unless filed within

six years after the claim accrued. [1876 Joint Resolution 7, 1877 Joint Resolution 4, 1877

c. 158, vote November 1877]


SECTION 3.  Credit of state. [As amended April 1975] Except

as provided in s. 7 (2) (A), the credit of the state shall never be

given, or loaned, in aid of any individual, association or corporation.

[1973 Joint Resolution 38, 1975 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1975]


SECTION 4. Contracting state debts. The state shall never

contract any public debt except in the cases and manner herein

provided.


SECTION 5.  Annual tax levy to equal expenses. The legislature

shall provide for an annual tax sufficient to defray the

estimated expenses of the state for each year; and whenever the

expenses of any year shall exceed the income, the legislature

shall provide for levying a tax for the ensuing year, sufficient,

with other sources of income, to pay the deficiency as well as the

estimated expenses of such ensuing year.


SECTION 6.  Public debt for extraordinary expense; taxation.

For the purpose of defraying extraordinary expenditures

the state may contract public debts (but such debts shall

never in the aggregate exceed one hundred thousand dollars).

Every such debt shall be authorized by law, for some purpose or

purposes to be distinctly specified therein; and the vote of a

majority of all the members elected to each house, to be taken

by yeas and nays, shall be necessary to the passage of such law;

and every such law shall provide for levying an annual tax sufficient

to pay the annual interest of such debt and the principal

within five years from the passage of such law, and shall

specially appropriate the proceeds of such taxes to the payment of

such principal and interest; and such appropriation shall not be

repealed, nor the taxes be postponed or diminished, until the

principal and interest of such debt shall have been wholly paid.


SECTION 7. Public debt for public defense; bonding for public

purposes. [As amended April 1969, April 1975 and

April 1992] (1) The legislature may also borrow money to repel

invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the state in time of

war; but the money thus raised shall be applied exclusively to the

object for which the loan was authorized, or to the repayment of

the debt thereby created.

(2) Any other provision of this constitution to the contrary

notwithstanding:

(A) The state may contract public debt and pledges to the payment

thereof its full faith, credit and taxing power:

1. To acquire, construct, develop, extend, enlarge or

improve land, waters, property, highways, railways, buildings,

equipment or facilities for public purposes.

2. To make funds available for veterans’ housing loans.

(b) The aggregate public debt contracted by the state in any

calendar year pursuant to paragraph (A) shall not exceed an

amount equal to the lesser of:

1. Three−fourths of one per centum of the aggregate value

of all taxable property in the state; or

2. Five per centum of the aggregate value of all taxable

property in the state less the sum of: a. the aggregate public debt

of the state contracted pursuant to this section outstanding as of

January 1 of such calendar year after subtracting therefrom the

amount of sinking funds on hand on January 1 of such calendar

year which are applicable exclusively to repayment of such outstanding

public debt and, b. the outstanding indebtedness as of

January 1 of such calendar year of any entity of the type

described in paragraph (d) to the extent that such indebtedness

is supported by or payable from payments out of the treasury of

the state.

(c) The state may contract public debt, without limit, to fund

or refund the whole or any part of any public debt contracted pursuant

to paragraph (A), including any premium payable with

respect thereto and any interest to accrue thereon, or to fund or

refund the whole or any part of any indebtedness incurred prior

to January 1, 1972, by any entity of the type described in paragraph

(d), including any premium payable with respect thereto

and any interest to accrue thereon.

(d) No money shall be paid out of the treasury, with respect

to any lease, sublease or other agreement entered into after January

1, 1971, to the Wisconsin State Agencies Building Corporation,

Wisconsin State Colleges Building Corporation, Wisconsin

State Public Building Corporation, Wisconsin University

Building Corporation or any similar entity existing or operating

for similar purposes pursuant to which such nonprofit corporation

or such other entity undertakes to finance or provide a facility

for use or occupancy by the state or an agency, department

or instrumentality thereof.

(e) The legislature shall prescribe all matters relating to the

contracting of public debt pursuant to paragraph (A), including:

the public purposes for which public debt may be contracted; by

vote of a majority of the members elected to each of the 2 houses

of the legislature, the amount of public debt which may be contracted

for any class of such purposes; the public debt or other

indebtedness which may be funded or refunded; the kinds of

notes, bonds or other evidence of public debt which may be

issued by the state; and the manner in which the aggregate value

of all taxable property in the state shall be determined.

(f) The full faith, credit and taxing power of the state are

pledged to the payment of all public debt created on behalf of the

state pursuant to this section and the legislature shall provide by

appropriation for the payment of the interest upon and instalments

of principal of all such public debt as the same falls due,

but, in any event, suit may be brought against the state to compel

such payment.

(g) At any time after January 1, 1972, by vote of a majority

of the members elected to each of the 2 houses of the legislature,

the legislature may declare that an emergency exists and submit

to the people a proposal to authorize the state to contract a specific

amount of public debt for a purpose specified in such proposal,

without regard to the limit provided in paragraph (b). Any

such authorization shall be effective if approved by a majority

of the electors voting thereon. Public debt contracted pursuant

to such authorization shall thereafter be deemed to have been

contracted pursuant to paragraph (A), but neither such public

debt nor any public debt contracted to fund or refund such public

debt shall be considered in computing the debt limit provided in

paragraph (b). Not more than one such authorization shall be

thus made in any 2−year period. [1967 Joint Resolution 58, 1969 Joint Resolution 3, vote

April 1969; 1973 Joint Resolution 38, 1975 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1975; Joint Resolution 9,

vote April 1992]


SECTION 8. Vote on fiscal bills; quorum. On the passage

in either house of the legislature of any law which imposes, continues

or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues

or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or

releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state,

the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly

entered on the journal; and three−fifths of all the members

elected to such house shall in all such cases be required to constitute

a quorum therein.


SECTION 9. Evidences of public debt. No scrip, certificate,

or other evidence of state debt, whatsoever, shall be issued,

except for such debts as are authorized by the sixth and seventh

sections of this article.


SECTION 10. Internal improvements.  [As amended November

1908, November 1924, Apr. 1945, Apr. 1949, Apr. 1960, Apr. 1968 and

Apr. 1992] Except as further provided in this section, the state

may never contract any debt for works of internal improvement,

or be a party in carrying on such works.

(1) Whenever grants of land or other property shall have

been made to the state, especially dedicated by the grant to particular

works of internal improvement, the state may carry on

such particular works and shall devote thereto the avails of such

grants, and may pledge or appropriate the revenues derived from

such works in aid of their completion.

(2) The state may appropriate money in the treasury or to be

thereafter raised by taxation for:

(A) The construction or improvement of public highways.

(b) The development, improvement and construction of airports

or other aeronautical projects.

(c) The acquisition, improvement or construction of veterans’

housing.

(d) The improvement of port facilities.

(e) The acquisition, development, improvement or construction

of railways and other railroad facilities.

(3) The state may appropriate moneys for the purpose of

acquiring, preserving and developing the forests of the state. Of

the moneys appropriated under the authority of this subsection

in any one year an amount not to exceed two−tenths of one mill

of the taxable property of the state as determined by the last preceding

state assessment may be raised by a tax on property.

[1905 Joint Resolution 11, 1907 Joint Resolution 18, 1907 c. 238, vote November 1908; 1921

Joint Resolution 29S, 1923 Joint Resolution 57, 1923 c. 289, vote November 1924; 1943 Joint Resolution

37, 1945 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1945; Spl. S. 1948 Joint Resolution 1, 1949 Joint Resolution

1, vote April 1949; 1957 Joint Resolution 58, 1959 Joint Resolution 15, vote April 1960;

1965 Joint Resolution 43, 1967 Joint Resolution 25, vote April 1968; 1991 Joint Resolution 9, vote

April 1992]


ARTICLE 9.

EMINENT DOMAIN AND PROPERTY OF THE STATE


SECTION 1. Jurisdiction on rivers and lakes; navigable waters.

The state shall have concurrent jurisdiction on all rivers

and lakes bordering on this state so far as such rivers or lakes

shall form a common boundary to the state and any other state

or territory now or hereafter to be formed, and bounded by the

same; and the river Mississippi and the navigable waters leading

into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places

between the same, shall be common highways and forever free,

as well to the inhabitants of the state as to the citizens of the

United States, without any tax, impost or duty therefor.


SECTION 2. Territorial property. The title to all lands and

other property which have accrued to the territory of Wisconsin

by grant, gift, purchase, forfeiture, escheat or otherwise shall

vest in the state of Wisconsin.


SECTION 3. Ultimate property in lands; escheats. The

people of the state, in their right of sovereignty, are declared to

possess the ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction

of the state; and all lands the title to which shall fail from

a defect of heirs shall revert or escheat to the people.


ARTICLE 10.

EDUCATION


SECTION 1. Superintendent of public instruction.  [As

amended November 1902 and November 1982] The supervision of public

instruction shall be vested in a state superintendent and such

other officers as the legislature shall direct; and their qualifications,

powers, duties and compensation shall be prescribed by

law. The state superintendent shall be chosen by the qualified

electors of the state at the same time and in the same manner as

members of the supreme court, and shall hold office for 4 years

from the succeeding first Monday in July. The term of office,

time and manner of electing or appointing all other officers of

supervision of public instruction shall be fixed by law. [1899

Joint Resolution 16, 1901 Joint Resolution 3, 1901 c. 258, vote November 1902; 1979 Joint Resolution 36,

1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982]


SECTION 2. School fund created; income applied. [As

amended November 1982] The proceeds of all lands that have been or

hereafter may be granted by the United States to this state for

educational purposes (except the lands heretofore granted for

the purposes of a university) and all moneys and the clear proceeds

of all property that may accrue to the state by forfeiture or

escheat; and the clear proceeds of all fines collected in the several

counties for any breach of the penal laws, and all moneys

arising from any grant to the state where the purposes of such

grant are not specified, and the 500,000 acres of land to which

the state is entitled by the provisions of an act of congress,

entitled “An act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of the

public lands and to grant pre−emption rights,” approved September

4, 1841; and also the 5 percent of the net proceeds of the

public lands to which the state shall become entitled on admission

into the union (if congress shall consent to such appropriation

of the 2 grants last mentioned) shall be set apart as a separate

fund to be called “the school fund,” the interest of which and all

other revenues derived from the school lands shall be exclusively

applied to the following objects, to wit:

(1) To the support and maintenance of common schools, in

each school district, and the purchase of suitable libraries and

apparatus therefor.

(2) The residue shall be appropriated to the support and

maintenance of academies and normal schools, and suitable

libraries and apparatus therefor. [1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29,

vote November 1982]


SECTION 3. District schools; tuition; sectarian instruction;

released time.  [As amended April 1972] The legislature

shall provide by law for the establishment of district

schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and

such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all

children between the ages of 4 and 20 years; and no sectarian

instruction shall be allowed therein; but the legislature by law

may, for the purpose of religious instruction outside the district

schools, authorize the release of students during regular school

hours. [1969 Joint Resolution 37, 1971 Joint Resolution 28, vote April 1972]


SECTION 4.  Annual school tax. Each town and city shall

be required to raise by tax, annually, for the support of common

schools therein, a sum not less than one−half the amount

received by such town or city respectively for school purposes

from the income of the school fund.


SECTION 5. Income of school fund. Provision shall be

made by law for the distribution of the income of the school fund

among the several towns and cities of the state for the support of

common schools therein, in some just proportion to the number

of children and youth resident therein between the ages of four

and twenty years, and no appropriation shall be made from the

school fund to any city or town for the year in which said city or

town shall fail to raise such tax; nor to any school district for the

year in which a school shall not be maintained at least three

months.


SECTION 6. State university; support. Provision shall be

made by law for the establishment of a state university at or near

the seat of state government, and for connecting with the same,

from time to time, such colleges in different parts of the state as

the interests of education may require. The proceeds of all lands

that have been or may hereafter be granted by the United States

to the state for the support of a university shall be and remain a

perpetual fund to be called “the university fund,” the interest of

which shall be appropriated to the support of the state university,

and no sectarian instruction shall be allowed in such university.


SECTION 7.  Commissioners of public lands. The secretary

of state, treasurer and attorney general, shall constitute a

board of commissioners for the sale of the school and university

lands and for the investment of the funds arising therefrom. Any

two of said commissioners shall be a quorum for the transaction

of all business pertaining to the duties of their office.


SECTION 8. Sale of public lands. Provision shall be made

by law for the sale of all school and university lands after they

shall have been appraised; and when any portion of such lands

shall be sold and the purchase money shall not be paid at the time

of the sale, the commissioners shall take security by mortgage

upon the lands sold for the sum remaining unpaid, with seven per

cent interest thereon, payable annually at the office of the treasurer.

The commissioners shall be authorized to execute a good

and sufficient conveyance to all purchasers of such lands, and to

discharge any mortgages taken as security, when the sum due

thereon shall have been paid. The commissioners shall have

power to withhold from sale any portion of such lands when they

shall deem it expedient, and shall invest all moneys arising from

the sale of such lands, as well as all other university and school

funds, in such manner as the legislature shall provide, and shall

give such security for the faithful performance of their duties as

may be required by law.


ARTICLE 11.

CORPORATIONS


SECTION 1. Corporations; how formed.  [As amended

April 1981] Corporations without banking powers or privileges

may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by

special act, except for municipal purposes. All general laws or

special acts enacted under the provisions of this section may be

altered or repealed by the legislature at any time after their passage.

[1979 Joint Resolution 21, 1981 Joint Resolution 9, vote April 1981]


SECTION 2. Property taken by municipality. [As amended

April 1961] No municipal corporation shall take private property

for public use, against the consent of the owner, without the

necessity thereof being first established in the manner prescribed

by the legislature. [1959 Joint Resolution 47, 1961 Joint Resolution 12, vote April

1961]


SECTION

3. Municipal home rule; debt limit; tax to pay debt.  

[As amended November 1874, November 1912, November 1924, November

1932, April 1951, April 1955, November 1960, April 1961, April 1963,

April 1966 and April 1981] (1) Cities and villages organized

pursuant to state law may determine their local affairs and government,

subject only to this constitution and to such enactments

of the legislature of statewide concern as with uniformity shall

affect every city or every village. The method of such determination

shall be prescribed by the legislature.

(2) No county, city, town, village, school district, sewerage

district or other municipal corporation may become indebted in

an amount that exceeds an allowable percentage of the taxable

property located therein equalized for state purposes as provided

by the legislature. In all cases the allowable percentage shall be

5 percent except as specified in pars. (A) and (b):

(A) For any city authorized to issue bonds for school purposes,

an additional 10 percent shall be permitted for school purposes

only, and in such cases the territory attached to the city for

school purposes shall be included in the total taxable property

supporting the bonds issued for school purposes.

(b) For any school district which offers no less than grades

one to 12 and which at the time of incurring such debt is eligible

for the highest level of school aids, 10 percent shall be permitted.

(3) Any county, city, town, village, school district, sewerage

district or other municipal corporation incurring any indebtedness

under sub. (2) shall, before or at the time of doing so, provide

for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the

interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge

the principal thereof within 20 years from the time of contracting

the same.

(4) When indebtedness under sub. (2) is incurred in the

acquisition of lands by cities, or by counties or sewerage districts

having a population of 150,000 or over, for public, municipal

purposes, or for the permanent improvement thereof, or to purchase,

acquire, construct, extend, add to or improve a sewage

collection or treatment system which services all or a part of

such city or county, the city, county or sewerage district incurring

the indebtedness shall, before or at the time of so doing, provide

for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the

interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge

the principal thereof within a period not exceeding 50 years from

the time of contracting the same.

(5) An indebtedness created for the purpose of purchasing,

acquiring, leasing, constructing, extending, adding to, improving,

conducting, controlling, operating or managing a public

utility of a town, village, city or special district, and secured

solely by the property or income of such public utility, and

whereby no municipal liability is created, shall not be considered

an indebtedness of such town, village, city or special district,

and shall not be included in arriving at the debt limitation

under sub. (2). [1872 Joint Resolution 11, 1873 Joint Resolution 4, 1874 c. 37, vote November

1874; 1909 Joint Resolution 44, 1911 Joint Resolution 42, 1911 c. 665, vote November 1912;

1921 Joint Resolution 39S, 1923 Joint Resolution 34, 1923 c. 203, vote November 1924; 1929

Joint Resolution 74, 1931 Joint Resolution 71, vote November 1932; 1949 Joint Resolution 12, 1951 Joint Resolution

6, vote April 1951; 1953 Joint Resolution 47, 1955 Joint Resolution 12, vote April 1955;

1957 Joint Resolution 59, 1959 Joint Resolution 32, vote November 1960; 1959 Joint Resolution 35, 1961

Joint Resolution 8, vote April 1961; 1961 Joint Resolution 71, 1963 Joint Resolution 8, vote April 2,

1963; 1963 Joint Resolution 44, 1965 Joint Resolution 51 and 58, vote April 1966; 1979

Joint Resolution 43, 1981 Joint Resolution 7, vote April 1981]


SECTION 3a. Acquisition of lands by state and subdivisions; sale

of excess. [As created November 1912 and amended

Apr. 3, 1956] The state or any of its counties, cities, towns or villages

may acquire by gift, dedication, purchase, or condemnation

lands for establishing, laying out, widening, enlarging,

extending, and maintaining memorial grounds, streets, highways,

squares, parkways, boulevards, parks, playgrounds, sites

for public buildings, and reservations in and about and along and

leading to any or all of the same; and after the establishment, layout,

and completion of such improvements, may convey any

such real estate thus acquired and not necessary for such

improvements, with reservations concerning the future use and

occupation of such real estate, so as to protect such public works

and improvements, and their environs, and to preserve the view,

appearance, light, air, and usefulness of such public works. If

the governing body of a county, city, town or village elects to

accept a gift or dedication of land made on condition that the

land be devoted to a special purpose and the condition subsequently

becomes impossible or impracticable, such governing

body may by resolution or ordinance enacted by a two−thirds

vote of its members elect either to grant the land back to the

donor or dedicator or his heirs or accept from the donor or dedicator

or his heirs a grant relieving the county, city, town or village

of the condition; however, if the donor or dedicator or his

heirs are unknown or cannot be found, such resolution or ordinance

may provide for the commencement of proceedings in the

manner and in the courts as the legislature shall designate for the

purpose of relieving the county, city, town or village from the

condition of the gift or dedication. [1909 Joint Resolution 38, 1911 Joint Resolution 48,

1911 c. 665, vote November 1912; 1953 Joint Resolution 35, 1955 Joint Resolution 36, vote

April 3, 1956]


SECTION 4. General banking law. [As created November 1902

and amended April 1981] The legislature may enact a general

banking law for the creation of banks, and for the regulation and

supervision of the banking business. [1899 Joint Resolution 13, 1901 Joint Resolution 2,

1901 c. 73, vote November 1902; 1979 Joint Resolution 21, 1981 Joint Resolution 9, vote April

1981]


SECTION 5. Referendum on banking laws. [Repealed

November 1902; see 1899 Joint Resolution 13, 1901 Joint Resolution 2, 1901 c. 73, vote November

1902.]


ARTICLE 12.

AMENDMENTS


SECTION 1. Constitutional amendments. Any amendment

or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in

either house of the legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to

by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses,

such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on

their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred

to the legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and

shall be published for three months previous to the time of holding

such election; and if, in the legislature so next chosen, such

proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a

majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall

be the duty of the legislature to submit such proposed amendment

or amendments to the people in such manner and at such

time as the legislature shall prescribe; and if the people shall

approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a

majority of the electors voting thereon, such amendment or amendments

shall become part of the constitution; provided, that if

more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted

in such manner that the people may vote for or against such

amendments separately.


SECTION 2. Constitutional conventions.  If at any time a

majority of the senate and assembly shall deem it necessary to

call a convention to revise or change this constitution, they shall

recommend to the electors to vote for or against a convention at

the next election for members of the legislature. And if it shall

appear that a majority of the electors voting thereon have voted

for a convention, the legislature shall, at its next session, provide

for calling such convention.


ARTICLE 13.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


SECTION 1. Political year; elections. [As amended November

1882 and April 1986] The political year for this state shall commence

on the first Monday of January in each year, and the general

election shall be held on the Tuesday next succeeding the

first Monday of November in even−numbered years. [1881 Joint Resolution

16A, 1882 Joint Resolution 3, 1882 c. 290, vote November 1882; 1983 Joint Resolution 30,

1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April 1986]


SECTION 2. Dueling. [Repealed April 1975; see 1973 Joint Resolution 10,

1975 Joint Resolution 4, vote April 1975.]


SECTION 3. Eligibility to office. [As amended November 1996]

(1) No member of congress and no person holding any office of

profit or trust under the United States except postmaster, or

under any foreign power, shall be eligible to any office of trust,

profit or honor in this state.

(2) No person convicted of a felony, in any court within the

United States, no person convicted in federal court of a crime

designated, at the time of commission, under federal law as a

misdemeanor involving a violation of public trust and no person

convicted, in a court of a state, of a crime designated, at the time

of commission, under the law of the state as a misdemeanor

involving a violation of public trust shall be eligible to any office

of trust, profit or honor in this state unless pardoned of the conviction.

(3) No person may seek to have placed on any ballot for a

state or local elective office in this state the name of a person

convicted of a felony, in any court within the United States, the

name of a person convicted in federal court of a crime designated,

at the time of commission, under federal law as a misdemeanor

involving a violation of public trust or the name of a person

convicted, in a court of a state, of a crime designated, at the

time of commission, under the law of the state as a misdemeanor

involving a violation of public trust, unless the person named for

the ballot has been pardoned of the conviction. [1995 Jt. Res. 28]


SECTION 4. Great seal. It shall be the duty of the legislature

to provide a great seal for the state, which shall be kept by the

secretary of state, and all official acts of the governor, his approbation

of the laws excepted, shall be thereby authenticated.


SECTION 5. Residents on Indian lands, where to vote.

[Repealed April 1986; see 1983 Joint Resolution 30, 1985 Joint Resolution 14, vote April

1986.]


SECTION 6. Legislative officers. The elective officers of

the legislature, other than the presiding officers, shall be a chief

clerk and a sergeant at arms, to be elected by each house.


SECTION 7. Division of counties. No county with an area

of nine hundred square miles or less shall be divided or have any

part stricken therefrom, without submitting the question to a

vote of the people of the county, nor unless a majority of all the

legal voters of the county voting on the question shall vote for

the same.


SECTION 8. Removal of county seats. No county seat

shall be removed until the point to which it is proposed to be

removed shall be fixed by law, and a majority of the voters of the

county voting on the question shall have voted in favor of its

removal to such point.


SECTION 9. Election or appointment of statutory officers.

All county officers whose election or appointment is not

provided for by this constitution shall be elected by the electors

of the respective counties, or appointed by the boards of supervisors,

or other county authorities, as the legislature shall direct.

All city, town and village officers whose election or appointment

is not provided for by this constitution shall be elected by the

electors of such cities, towns and villages, or of some division

thereof, or appointed by such authorities thereof as the legislature

shall designate for that purpose. All other officers whose

election or appointment is not provided for by this constitution,

and all officers whose offices may hereafter be created by law,

shall be elected by the people or appointed, as the legislature

may direct.


SECTION 10. Vacancies in office. [As amended April 1979]

(1) The legislature may declare the cases in which any office

shall be deemed vacant, and also the manner of filling the

vacancy, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

(2) Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of lieutenant

governor, the governor shall nominate a successor to serve for

the balance of the unexpired term, who shall take office after

confirmation by the senate and by the assembly. [1977 Joint Resolution 32,

1979 Joint Resolution 3, vote April 1979]


SECTION 11. Passes, franks and privileges. [As created

November 1902 and amended November 1936] No person, association,

copartnership, or corporation, shall promise, offer or give, for

any purpose, to any political committee, or any member or

employe thereof, to any candidate for, or incumbent of any

office or position under the constitution or laws, or under any

ordinance of any town or municipality, of this state, or to any

person at the request or for the advantage of all or any of them,

any free pass or frank, or any privilege withheld from any person,

for the traveling accommodation or transportation of any

person or property, or the transmission of any message or communication.


SECTION 12. Recall of elective officers. [As created November

1926 and amended April 1981] The qualified electors of the

state, of any congressional, judicial or legislative district or of

any county may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective

officer after the first year of the term for which the incumbent

was elected, by filing a petition with the filing officer with whom

the nomination petition to the office in the primary is filed,

demanding the recall of the incumbent.

(1) The recall petition shall be signed by electors equalling

at least twenty−five percent of the vote cast for the office of governor

at the last preceding election, in the state, county or district

which the incumbent represents.

(2) The filing officer with whom the recall petition is filed

shall call a recall election for the Tuesday of the 6th week after

the date of filing the petition or, if that Tuesday is a legal holiday,

on the first day after that Tuesday which is not a legal holiday.

(3) The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the

office until the recall election results are officially declared.

(4) Unless the incumbent declines within 10 days after the

filing of the petition, the incumbent shall without filing be

deemed to have filed for the recall election. Other candidates

may file for the office in the manner provided by law for special

elections. For the purpose of conducting elections under this

section:

(A) When more than 2 persons compete for a nonpartisan

office, a recall primary shall be held. The 2 persons receiving

the highest number of votes in the recall primary shall be the 2

candidates in the recall election, except that if any candidate

receives a majority of the total number of votes cast in the recall

primary, that candidate shall assume the office for the remainder

of the term and a recall election shall not be held.

(b) For any partisan office, a recall primary shall be held for

each political party which is by law entitled to a separate ballot

and from which more than one candidate competes for the

party’s nomination in the recall election. The person receiving

the highest number of votes in the recall primary for each political

party shall be that party’s candidate in the recall election.

Independent candidates and candidates representing political

parties not entitled by law to a separate ballot shall be shown on

the ballot for the recall election only.

(c) When a recall primary is required, the date specified

under sub. (2) shall be the date of the recall primary and the recall

election shall be held on the Tuesday of the 4th week after the

recall primary or, if that Tuesday is a legal holiday, on the first

day after that Tuesday which is not a legal holiday.

(5) The person who receives the highest number of votes in

the recall election shall be elected for the remainder of the term.

(6) After one such petition and recall election, no further

recall petition shall be filed against the same officer during the

term for which he was elected.

(7) This section shall be self−executing and mandatory.

Laws may be enacted to facilitate its operation but no law shall

be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall. [1923

Joint Resolution 73, 1925 Joint Resolution 16, 1925 c. 270, vote November 1926; 1979 Joint Resolution 41,

1981 Joint Resolution 6, vote April 1981]


SECTION 13. Marriage. [As created November 2006] Only a marriage

between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized

as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially

similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals

shall not be valid or recognized in this state. [2003 Joint Resolution 29, 2005

Joint Resolution 30, vote November 2006]


ARTICLE 14.

SCHEDULE


SECTION 1. Effect of change from territory to state.

That no inconvenience may arise by reason of a change from a

territorial to a permanent state government, it is declared that all

rights, actions, prosecutions, judgments, claims and contracts,

as well of individuals as of bodies corporate, shall continue as

if no such change had taken place; and all process which may be

issued under the authority of the territory of Wisconsin previous

to its admission into the union of the United States shall be as

valid as if issued in the name of the state.


SECTION 2. Territorial laws continued. All laws now in

force in the territory of Wisconsin which are not repugnant to

this constitution shall remain in force until they expire by their

own limitation or be altered or repealed by the legislature.


SECTION 3. Territorial fines accrue to state. [Repealed

November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 4. Rights of action and prosecutions saved.

[Repealed November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November

1982.]


SECTION 5. Existing officers hold over. [Repealed November

1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 6. Seat of government. [Repealed November 1982; see

1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 7. Local officers hold over.  [Repealed November

1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


Section 8. Copy of constitution for president.

[Repealed November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November

1982.]


SECTION 9. Ratification of constitution; election of officers.

[Repealed November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29,

vote November 1982.]


SECTION 10. Congressional apportionment. [Repealed

November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 11. First elections. [Repealed November 1982; see

1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 12. Legislative apportionment. [Repealed November

1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 13. Common law continued in force.  Such

parts of the common law as are now in force in the territory of

Wisconsin, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall be and

continue part of the law of this state until altered or suspended

by the legislature.


SECTION 14. Officers, when to enter on duties.

[Repealed November 1982; see 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November

1982.]


SECTION 15. Oath of office. [Repealed November 1982; see 1979

Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982.]


SECTION 16.  Implementing revised structure of judicial branch.

[Created April 1977; as affected November 1982, (1), (2),

(3) and (5) repealed.]


(4) [Amended November 1982] The terms of office of justices of

the supreme court serving on August 1, 1978, shall expire on the

July 31 next preceding the first Monday in January on which

such terms would otherwise have expired, but such advancement

of the date of term expiration shall not impair any retirement

rights vested in any such justice if the term had expired on

the first Monday in January. [1975 Joint Resolution 13, 1977 Joint Resolution 7, vote

April 1977; 1979 Joint Resolution 36, 1981 Joint Resolution 29, vote November 1982]




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This is the constitution for the State of Wisconsin