Lawmakers are on track to get fewer bills signed into law this session than over the previous two, a WisPolitics.com review shows.
The count includes a series of special session calls that resulted in a slate of welfare overhaul bills and the $3 billion Foxconn incentive package. It also includes headline-grabbing bills ranging from one that weakens protections for some wetlands to another that bans the Group Insurance Board from contracting or paying for abortions.
In all, the Legislature passed 367 bills that have either already gotten Gov. Scott Walker’s signature or are waiting to be signed into law, based off a March 30 analysis from the Assembly and Senate chief clerk offices. That’s lower than both 2015-16 and 2013-14, when 392 and 380 bills, respectively, were enacted.
The WisPolitics.com check of this session comes as a series of the bills the Legislature has passed are still awaiting Walker’s signature, compared to figures from past sessions that show the number of bills that have been signed into law. This session’s overall total could end up lower should the guv decide to fully veto any of the bills he hasn’t yet taken up.
Regardless, the count of 367 bills either signed or waiting to be signed from the current session is higher than the 2011-12 session, which was marked by the fight over Act 10 and a series of recall elections. Over those two years, just 267 bills were passed by lawmakers and signed into law.
During the 2015-16 session, lawmakers passed bills dealing with right-to-work, prevailing wage, campaign finance, the civil service system and abolishing the Government Accountability Board. But the guv didn’t convene any special sessions.
Meanwhile, the count for the 2013-14 session, which saw several tax cuts and abortion legislation requiring ultrasounds before informed consent, includes seven special session bills.
While the chief clerks’ last update was from March 30, a more recent WisPolitics.com check showed for the 2017-18 session 273 Senate and Assembly bills have been signed into law, in addition to 94 bills that have been enrolled and not yet signed. The figures include the nearly 100 bills the guv signed into law over the past two weeks, including 11 on foster care and the nine welfare bills. As bill are signed, they’ll move from the “enrolled” count to the larger pool.
See the status records for the Assembly from 2011-12: https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/180304_11-12Session.pdf
Senate 2011-12: https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/180402SenateSession2011_12.pdf
See the WisPolitics.com Assembly spreadsheet: