Jan. 20, 2015 – The ability to follow along and watch the Legislature in action has never been easier. State Bar of Wisconsin members and citizens can access information in real time and track any legislative action. Below is a helpful guide with links on how members can research and follow state government.
Wisconsin Legislative Homepage
With a new webpage design and additional tools, 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.
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. The Newsmakers and Daily Morning Minute 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.
Cale 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.
For Capitol watchers who want to learn more about lobbying and the lobbying efforts of interest groups, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) 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 GAB’s lobbying website in real time. Lobbying principles 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.
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 2015-16 session. Members can subscribe to the Rotunda Report, which is a once-a-month 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.