Assembly Rule Changes

In their Oct. 10 floor session, the Wisconsin Assembly voted largely along party lines to approve several Assembly rule changes in two Assembly Resolutions.

Assembly Resolution 12, which passed 61-35, included provisions to allow members with permanent disabilities to participate in committee meetings remotely. Other changes included in AR 12 were:

  • Establishes time limits for floor debate on each proposal of the calendar. (Before AR 12, time limits were set for the calendar as a whole.) The majority and minority may agree on the time limits for each proposal. If the majority and minority leader do not reach an agreement, the Assembly Rules Committee must establish the time limits for each proposal.
  • Allows the presiding officer to declare motions to recess for partisan caucus out of order if they appear to be for the purpose of delay.
  • Allows the presiding officer to order a call of the Assembly without any seconds on the motion. A call of the Assembly requires absent members to return to the chamber. Any member making the call, besides the presiding officer, must have 15 members second the call.
  • Moves the 8th order of business – considering resolutions – to the 13th order of business, after the Assembly takes up Senate and Assembly bills.
  • Provides that motions to withdraw a proposal from committee are only in order during the new 12th order of business, wherein motions may be offered.
  • Allows motions to return a proposal to the second reading stage when a proposal is under consideration. Returning a proposal to the second reading stage requires a majority vote.

Assembly Resolution 13, which passed 60-36, allows the Assembly to reconsider votes on vetoes. Reconsiderations of Assembly decisions on vetoes may occur at any time and any number of times during the biennium. Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) was the only Republican to vote no on AR 13.