Rotunda Report: Attorney Guide to Decoding the 2017-18 Legislative Session:

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    Attorney Guide to Decoding the 2017-18 Legislative Session

    Cale Battles

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    March 9, 2017 – The ability to follow along and watch the Legislature in action has never been easier. State Bar members and citizens can access information in real time and track any legislative action. The State Bar’s Public Affairs Department launched new versions of the State Bar’s Rotunda Report and the creation of a new bill tracking system that will allow members to track current legislation of interest to the legal community. Below is a helpful guide with links on how members can research and follow state government.

    Wisconsin Legislative Homepage

    The state Legislature’s Home Page contains a wealth of information on current and previous session legislative action. The Assembly and Senate post session calendars and committee schedules. The site also allows citizens to search any legislative proposal or topic introduced.

    The Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service is also located on the home page. This service allows anyone the ability to track a specific bill, topic, administrative code, committee action, or legislation introduced by an elected official. Users can request weekly or daily email notifications when any legislative action occurs.

    Legislative Notification Service - https://notify.legis.wisconsin.gov/login

    Legislature Home Page - http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

    Find a Proposal (Legislative Document Search) - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/

    Legislative RSS Feeds - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/feed

    Senate Session Calendar - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/calendars/senate

    Assembly Session Calendar - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/related/calendars/assembly

    Watch the Legislature in Action

    WisconsinEye is a television and internet broadcasting service airing video from legislative floor sessions, committee public hearings, and news interviews. The site archives previous broadcast footage, and is searchable by committee or date.

    Cale BattlesCale Battles is a government relations coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. He can be reached at org cbattles wisbar wisbar cbattles org, or by phone at (608) 250-6077.

    The Newsmakers and Daily Morning Minute sections highlight pressing current political issues or topics of statewide interest. WisEye can also be found on some cable providers, including Charter Channel 995 and Time Warner Channel 363.

    For Capitol watchers who want to learn more about lobbying and the lobbying efforts of interest groups, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission (WEC) has created the Wisconsin Eye on Lobbying website. Lobbying principals and registered lobbyists must report any lobbying activities that they have conducted on legislation, budget matters, or administrative rule, which is then posted on the WEC’s lobbying website in real time. Lobbying principals and registered lobbyists also must submit reports every six months as to the time and cost of these efforts.     

    Two sites that are a daily must-visit for politicians and lobbyists are the Wheeler Report and Wispolitics.com. Both focus on aggregating state political news, but also post news releases, events, and daily Capitol schedules.    

    WisconsinEye - http://www.wiseye.org/

    WEC’s Eye on Lobbying - https://lobbying.wi.gov/Home/Welcome

    Wispolitics - http://wispolitics.com/

    The Wheeler Report - http://thewheelerreport.com/

    State Bar Government Relations Information

    The State Bar’s Public Affairs Department and Publications Department will continue to offer up-to-date information on legislative and court developments through the 2017-18 session. Members can subscribe to the new version of the Rotunda Report, which is an e-newsletter that focuses on legislative issues. The State Bar’s InsideTrack newsletter also frequently features articles on legislative developments and in-depth articles from members on the impact of recent law changes. The Government Relations site also includes information on policy positions taken by the State Bar and the practice sections that have chosen to lobby.

    SBW Government Relations - http://www.wisbar.org/aboutUs/GovernmentRelations

    Rotunda Report - http://www.wisbar.org/newspublications/RotundaReport

    SBW Policy Positions - http://www.wisbar.org/aboutus/governmentrelations/pages/policy-positions.aspx

    InsideTrack - http://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/InsideTrack

    For more information regarding State Bar lobbying or legislative issues, please feel free to contact State Bar lobbyists Cale Battles or Lynne Davis.

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