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Wisconsin Legislative History: Budget Bills

Process for Researching and Compiling a Wisconsin Legislative History

Budget Bills

Background of Researching a Budget History

Because of the sheer size and amount of information in a Budget Bill, Research is often times a long and tedious process.  This is compounded by the fact that over the years the method for developing budgets in the State of Wisconsin has changed.

 

Pre 1931

 

Prior to 1931, there was no formal budget process, as spending was tied to individual bills as needed.  Therefore, the process for searching budget related bills during this time period is essentially the same as searching any other legislation of the period.

 

1931-1967

 

In 1929, c. 97 s.2 created Wis Stat 15.01 to 15.14[1] including the creation of a State Budget Bureau in the executive department in charge of the director of the budget and providing for a state budget system.  From 1931 to 1967 the legislature would produce at least four budget bills per session.  These bills would usually deal with only revenues and appropriations, so there is relatively little statutory language in these budget bills.[2]

 

1969-

 

Beginning with 1969, budget bills started incorporating statutory language.  Unfortunately, budget bills between 1969 and 1981 are not arranged in a very systematic way, and so the drafting records prior to 1981 are very difficult to use.[3]

 

1981- Current Budget Bills

 

Beginning with 1981, budget bills are arranged in the following order: 

 

   •        Original Executive Budget Bill

   •         Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) version (usually Senate or Assembly Substitute Amendment 1)

   •         Simple Amendments in numerical order

   •         Conference Amendments (in years where a conference committee was involved)

 

1991- Current Budget Acts

 

Beginning with 1991, budget act include the following:

  •           The  bill number that initiated the act
  •           The date of enactment
  •           The date of publication
  •           Chapter 20 Schedule (Beginning with Figure: 20.005 (1))

20.005 (1)            General Fund Summary

20.005 (2) (a)      Summary of Bonding Authority Modifications

20.005 (2) (b)      General Obligation Debt Service

20.005 (3)            Appropriations

 

  •           Ascending treatise statutory units
  •           The 9xxx Nonstatutory sections, including:

9100s – Nonstatutory provisions section.  Nonstatutory provisions make changes to a law that do not have a continuing effect

9200s – Fiscal changes section

9300s – Initial applicability section

9400s – Effective dates section

 

Use the chart below to access budget acts and bills.


[1] Renumbered to Wis. Stat. 16.40, (L.1959 c.228 §5-11), with modification in title from “director of budget and accounts” to read “Department of administration” (L.1959 c.659 §16).  Currently, the budget falls under Subchapter III of Wisconsin Statutes, (§16.40 to 16.642).

Research Process

Beginning from the Statutes

Like other Legislative History Research, the process for researching a budget bill frequently begins with a desire to understand how a portion of a bill impacted specific language in a section of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Before getting into the research process, it is helpful to note that the drafting records from 1999 forward are available online (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/drafting_files), and that prior drafting records (up to 1997) are available in microfiche.

For the sake of this guide, we will consider Wis Stat. §49.688 Prescription drug assistance for elderly persons.  During the development of the 2009/10 budget, §49.688 (1)(e) was amended, §49.688 (8) was repealed and §49.688 (12) was amended.  The assumption is that the researcher is aware that there was a change to these sections in the 2009/2010 statutes.  The history note in the Wisconsin Statutes points to 2009 a. 28.  2009 Act 028 is the 2009/10 budget bill (AB 75).  If one searches through the Acts online, there is a note referring to the State Budget folder (as of this writing, the link from 2009 a. 28 to the State Budget Folder did not work).  1999- Budget Folders can be found in the LRB Drafting Records Online.  Older budget bills can be found with the Drafting Records in microfiche on the first floor of the Eckstein Law Library.

 

Budget Index Report

Research can begin (but does not have to begin) outside of the budget bills folder, with the Budget Index Report. 2001- Budget Index Reports are available online (see below).  Older Budget Index Reports are available by contacting the Legislative Reference Bureau.

The Budget Index Report is broken down into two indexes:  The first index is by Component Subject.  This index includes the Component Subject, the Component Topic and an LRB Number.  In the example below, we are looking for changes in prescription drug assistance for elderly persons, which would fall under the broad category of Health.  More specifically, this is under the Component Subject of Health – medical assistance, with the Component Topic of Senior Care Reimbursement.  The LRB Number for this topic is “-1540”.

Component Subject             

Component Topic

LRB no.

Health – medical assistance

MA trust fund increase; nursing home operating deficit

-1867

Health – medical assistance

Medicaid targeted case management

-0375

Health – medical assistance

Medical Assistance reimbursement for birth to 3

-1109

Health – medical assistance

Medical Assistance; federal financial participation rates

-1828

Health – medical assistance

Medical assistance transportation

-0641

Health – medical assistance

Rhodes and Kraus UW physician intergovernmental transfer

-1430

Health – medical assistance

Senior Care reimbursement

-1540

Health – miscellaneous

DHS appropriations

-0247

 

The second index is broken down by LRB Number.  This index has the column headers:
LRB No., Component Subject, Component Topic, Section No. and Statutory Action Phrase. 

In our example we would see:

LRB No.

Component Subject

Component Topic

Section No.

Statutory Action Phrase

-1540

Health – medical assistance

Senior care reimbursement

1364

49.688 (1) (e) OTS is amended

-1540

Health – medical assistance

Senior care reimbursement

1366

49.688 (8) OTS is repealed.

-1540

Health – medical assistance

Senior care reimbursement

1367

49.688 (12) OTS is amended

 

It is possible to search the online index, so it may be easier to enter [<CTRL> F] and find the chapter in the search field.  In this scenario, a search of 49.688 would show that it is tied, not only to LRB No. -1540, but also to LRB No.- 1537 (Component Subject: Public Assistance – misc.  Component Topic: Eliminate general relief.  Section: 1365).

Find Budget Index Reports
2017 Budget Index Report Budget Drafts
2015 Budget Index Report Budget Drafts
2013 Budget Index Report Budget Drafts
2011 Budget Index Report Budget Drafts
2009-2010 Budget Index Report (via Internet Archive) Budget Drafts (AB75)
2007-2009 Budget Index Report (via Internet Archive) Budget Drafts (SB40)
2005-2007 Budget Index Report (via Internet Archive) Miscellaneous Budget Documents (AB100)
2003-2005 Budget Index Report (via Internet Archive) Miscellaneous Budget Documents (SB44)
2001-2002 Budget Index Report (via Internet Archive) Miscellaneous Budget Documents

 

The Enrolled Bill

The key element when searching budget records is the LRB No. (e.g. -1540 and -1537).

As an alternative, or in addition to searching the Budget Index Reports, one can also search for the statutory section in the enrolled proposal with the LRB numbers.  These documents identify the LRB number at the beginning of each section.  The LRB number is followed by a section number and then action on the statutes.  These files are found as follows:

 

Finding Drafting Requests

Drafting records from the original bill are issued in LRB number drafting sequence (e.g. LRB-0123).  Amendment drafts are distinguised by inclusion of the lower case letter "b" (e.g. LRBb0123).

Once the LRB Number has been identified, the next step is to find the Drafting Requests.  This can be done by searching for the LRB Number in the other folders.

(Note: When looking at enrolled bill, the LRB numbers will be surrounded by asterisks and will either begin with a hyphen or the letter "b" (for amendment drafts).  For example: *-01540/2.1* or *b0487/4.4*.  In these examples the number is broken down by *LRB Number / Version . Section*.)

For all of the budgets, 1999 to penultimate, go to the LRB Drafting Files page.  Click into the drafting files year that you are seeking.  A search box is located above the drafting files links with two options, Search Folder and Search All.  Key the LRB Number preceded by the last two digits of the first year in question and click on Search (e.g. for LRB number -1540 in the 2009-10 budget, key 09-1540.  For LRB number b0487 in the 2009-10 budget, key 09b0487.)  This will bring up a list of the folders with the drafting requests for the intended LRB number (along with lists for other LRB numbers).  For example, searching 09-1540 in the 2009-10 Drafting Files results in 1 drafting request document  (searchable 2009 budget scans list).  A search for 09b0487 results in one drafting request document (09b0487df).  It may be necessary to include quotation marks around the search.

The drafting request contains documents relating to the specific LRB number.

2009-10 has a file called searchable 2009 budget scans list, which may be helpful in identifying the specific file and folder that contains information on a specific LRB Number.  For example, if the LRB Number being sought is -1540, this table will show that 09-1540df is located in the folder: 09-1881df … 2)DOA compile drafts, which resides inside the folder: (#002) AB-75 (wCompile).  If the LRB number is b0487, this table will show that 09b0487df is located in the folder: 09b0609df … 2) LFB compile drafts, which resides inside the folder: (#003) ASA1-AB75 (wCompile).  It appears that other years do not have a comparable budget scans list.

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Other Sources for Budget and Financial Information

Legislative Fiscal Bureau

From the Legislative Fiscal Bureau Home Page, click on the Publications tab.  The publications tab is broken down as follows:

  • [Current] Budget

       Includes link to the Comparative Summary of Budget Recommendations

       Includes link to the Budget Papers.  (Each budget paper includes information such as:  Current Law, Governor’s comments, Discussion Points and Modifications / Alternatives.)

       Includes link to the Summary of Governor’s Budget Recommendations

  • Budget Papers (2001-03 to current)  (Each budget paper includes information such as:  Current Law, Governor’s comments, Discussion Points and Modifications / Alternatives.)

Published by the legislature, the Informational Papers cover a variety of topics including State budget and finance.  Older Informational Papers can be found in MARQCAT, the Marquette Online Catalog by searching title “Informational Paper” and limiting to Entire Collection.

  • Prior Budgets (1995 to current) (Includes links to budget papers, summaries of budget provisions, and other legislation)

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Budget Acts and Bills Table

This table provides links to the budget acts and adjustment acts from 1977 forward, as well as listing and links to their corresponding bills where available.

Year

Budget Acts

Budget Bills

Budget Adjustment Acts

Budget Adjustment Bills

Other Material
Including links to Index Reports

2017-2018       AB 64 / SB 30         Budget Documents
2015-2016 55 HTML PDF AB 21SB 21         Budget Documents

2013-2014

20

HTML

PDF

AB 40 /

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

2011-2012

32

HTML

PDF

AB 40 / SB 27

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

2009-2010

28

HTML

PDF

AB 75

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

2007-2008

20

HTML

PDF

SB 40

2009 Act 2

HTML

PDF

2009 SB 62

Budget Documents

2007 Act 226

HTML

PDF

March 2008 SS AB 1

 

2005-2006

25

HTML

PDF

AB 100

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

2003-2004

33

HTML

PDF

SB 44

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

2001-2002

16

HTML

PDF

SB 55

2001 Act 109

HTML

PDF

January 2002 SS AB 1

Budget Documents

1999-2000

9

HTML

PDF

AB 133

 

 

 

 

Budget Documents

1997-1998

27

HTML

PDF

AB 100

1997 Act 237

HTML

PDF

AB 768

Budget Documents

1995-1996

27

HTML

PDF

AB 150

1995 Act 216

HTML

PDF

SB 565

Budget Documents

1995 Act 248

HTML

PDF

SB 562

 

1995 Act 416

HTML

PDF

SB 563

 

1993-1994

16

 

PDF

SB 44

1993 Act 437

 

PDF

AB 1126

 

1991-1992

39

 

PDF

AB 91

1991 Act 269

 

PDF

SB 483

 

1989-1990

31

 

PDF

SB 31

1989 Act 336

 

PDF

SB 542

 

1987-1988

27

 

PDF

SB 100

1987 Act 399

 

PDF

AB 850

 

1985-1986

29

 

PDF

AB 85

1985 Act 120

 

PDF

January 1986 SS SB 1

 

1983-1984

27

 

PDF

SB 83

1983 Act 212

 

PDF

SB 663

 

1981-1982

20

 

PDF

AB 66

1981 Ch. 93

 

PDF

November 1981 SS SB 1

 

1981 Ch. 317

 

PDF

SB 783

 

1979-1980

34

 

PDF

SB 79

1979 Ch. 221

 

PDF

AB 1180

 

1977-1978

29

 

PDF

SB 77

1977 Ch. 418

 

PDF

AB 1220

 

 

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Veto Messages

The Partial Veto

 

One aspect of Wisconsin Budget development includes the ability of the Governor of Wisconsin to partially veto legislation that impacts appropriations.  (Wis. Const. Art. V § 10)  It is normal for the governor to veto certain portions of Budget Bills, and in fact some governors have arguably used this power to dramatically revise budget legislation.

 

In the process of vetoing portions of such legislation, the governor submits veto messages to the house in which the bill was first introduced along with the partial vetoes.  For more information, see The Partial Veto In Wisconsin: Informational Bulletin 04-1, January 2004. (http://lrbdigital.legis.wisconsin.gov/digital/collection/p16831coll2/id/1264/rec/33).

 

Specific veto messages are available on the LRB website as follows:

 

2011-2012       2009-2010       2007-2008       2005-2006       2003-2004       2001-2002       1999-2000

 

Veto messages are also reported in the Wisconsin Briefs (KFW 2420 .W57)

 

Date

Brief No.

Title (Note: Not all vetoes deal with budget issues)

April 27, 2012

12-2 Revised

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2011 Wisconsin Legislature (Except the 2011 Executive Budget Bill)

May 2010

10-2

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2009 Wisconsin Legislature from January 13, 2009, to May 21, 2010

 

08-5

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2007 Wisconsin Legislature from January 9, 2007, to May 23, 2008

 

06-9

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2005 Wisconsin Legislature from January 3, 2005, to May 30, 2006

 

04-8

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature From December 21, 2003, Through May 10, 2004

December 2003

03-4 (De3 Supplement)

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature from November 13, 2003 through December 20, 2003

November 2003

03-4 (No3 Supplement1)

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature from September 1, 2003 through November 12, 2003

August 2003

03-4 (Au3 Supplement)

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature from April 26, 2003 through August 31, 2003 (Except the 2003 Executive Budget Bill)

April 2003

03-4 (Ap3 Supplement)

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature from March 1, 2003 Through April 25, 2003

February 2003

03-4

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2003 Wisconsin Legislature from January 6, 2003 Through February 28, 2003

August 2002

02-2 (Supplement)

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2001 Wisconsin Legislature From May 3, 2002, Through August 16, 2002

May 2002

02-2

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 2001 Wisconsin Legislature From January 3, 2001, Through May 2, 2002

May 2000

00-4

Executive Vetoes of Bills Passed by the 1999 Wisconsin Legislature from January 4, 1999, Through May 19, 2000

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