Wisconsin State Senate

Wisconsin State Senate
Wisconsin State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 8, 2013
Mary Lazich (R)
Since January 5, 2015
President pro tempore
Since October 12, 2016
Majority Leader
Scott L. Fitzgerald (R)
Since January 8, 2013
Minority Leader
Jennifer Shilling (D)
Since January 5, 2015
Seats 33
Political groups

Governing party

Opposition parties

Length of term
4 years
Authority Article IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary $50,950/year + $153 per diem
Last election
November 4, 2014
(17 seats)
Next election
November 1, 2016 (16 seats)
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate

The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly. Together, they constitute the legislative branch of the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Constitution ties the size of the State Senate to that of the Assembly, by limiting its size to no less than 1/4, nor more than 1/3, of the size of the Assembly. Currently, Wisconsin is divided into 33 Senate Districts (1/3 of the current Assembly membership of 99) apportioned throughout the state based on population as determined by the decennial census, for a total of 33 senators. A Senate district is formed by combining three Assembly districts. Similar to the U.S. Senate, in addition to its duty of reviewing and voting on all legislation passed through the legislature, the State Senate has the exclusive responsibility of confirming certain gubernatorial appointments, particularly cabinet secretaries (as part of the system of checks and balances) and members of boards and commissions. Senators are elected for four-year terms, staggered so that approximately half of the Senate is up for election every two years. If a vacancy occurs in a Senate seat between elections, it may be filled only by a special election. The Senate chamber is in the south wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison.

Salary and benefits

Senators elected or re-elected in the fall of 2008 will receive an annual salary of $49,943. In addition to their salaries, senators outside Dane County may receive a per diem up to $88 to cover living expenses while they are in Dane County on state business. Members of the Madison delegation may receive a per diem up to $44 to cover expenses. Each senator also receives $75 per month in "out-of-session" pay when the Legislature is in session for three days or less. Over two years, each senator is allotted $66,008 to cover general office expenses, printing, postage and district mailings.

2014 general election

Podium in the Senate

Following the 2014 elections, The Wisconsin State Senate maintained a Republican majority in January 2015 for several reasons. Democrat John Lehman, whose district had become solidly Republican following the 2011 redistricting, announced he would forgo re-election and seek the office of Lieutenant Governor, which he lost. Former Republican Senator Van Wanggaard, who lost to Lehman in the 2012 recall elections, defeated Democrat Randy Bryce, 60% to 40%, in the race to succeed Lehman. Following the retirement of Republican Senator Dale Schultz, Republican Representative Howard Marklein defeated Democrat Pat Bomhack. The Senate has 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats. There had been a vacant seat following Glenn Grothman's election the U.S. House of Representatives, but former State Rep. Duey Stroebel was elected on April 7, 2015 to fill the vacancy in District 20.

Current session


18 1 14
Republican Vacant Democratic
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
Begin 100th Legislature 19 14 33 0
End 100th 16 17
Begin 101st Legislature 18 15 33 0
End 101st 17 32 1
Begin 102nd[1] 18 14 32 1
April 7, 2015[2] 19 33 0
October 12, 2016[3] 18 32 1
Latest voting share 56.3% 43.8%

Senate officers

Position Name
President of the Senate Mary Lazich
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Vacant
Majority leader Scott L. Fitzgerald
Assistant Majority Leader Leah Vukmir
Majority Caucus Chair Sheila Harsdorf
Majority Caucus Vice Chair Van Wanggaard
Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling
Assistant Minority Leader Dave Hansen
Minority Caucus Chair Julie Lassa
Minority Caucus Vice Chair Kathleen Vinehout
Chief Clerk Jeffrey Renk


Senator District Party Residence Current Age First elected Next election
Frank Lasee 01 Rep De Pere 54 2010 2018
Robert Cowles 02 Rep Green Bay 66 1987 2016
Tim Carpenter 03 Dem Milwaukee 56 2002 2018
Lena Taylor 04 Dem Milwaukee 50 2004 2016
Leah Vukmir 05 Rep Wauwatosa 58 2010 2018
Nikiya Harris Dodd 06 Dem Milwaukee 41 2012 2016
Chris Larson 07 Dem Milwaukee 36 2010 2018
Alberta Darling 08 Rep River Hills 72 1992 2016
Devin LeMahieu 09 Rep Sheboygan 44 2014 2018
Sheila Harsdorf 10 Rep River Falls 60 2000 2016
Stephen Nass 11 Rep Whitewater 64 2014 2018
Tom Tiffany 12 Rep Hazelhurst 58 2012 2016
Scott Fitzgerald 13 Rep Juneau 53 1994 2018
Luther Olsen 14 Rep Ripon 65 2004 2016
Janis Ringhand 15 Dem Evansville 66 2014 2018
Mark F. Miller 16 Dem Monona 73 2004 2016
Howard Marklein 17 Rep Spring Green 62 2014 2018
Vacant 18 Vacant 2018
Roger Roth 19 Rep Appleton 38 2014 2018
Duey Stroebel 20 Rep Saukville 57 2015 2016
Van H. Wanggaard 21 Rep Racine 64 2014 2018
Robert Wirch 22 Dem Kenosha 73 1996 2016
Terry Moulton 23 Rep Chippewa Falls 70 2010 2018
Julie Lassa 24 Dem Stevens Point 46 2003 2016
Janet Bewley 25 Dem Ashland 65 2014 2018
Fred Risser 26 Dem Madison 89 1962 2016
Jon Erpenbach 27 Dem Middleton 55 1998 2018
Mary Lazich 28 Rep New Berlin 64 1998 2016
Jerry Petrowski 29 Rep Marathon 66 2012 2018
Dave Hansen 30 Dem Green Bay 68 2000 2016
Kathleen Vinehout 31 Dem Alma 58 2006 2018
Jennifer Shilling 32 Dem La Crosse 47 2011 2016
Chris Kapenga 33 Rep Delafield 44 2015 2018

Past notable members

See also


  1. Republican Glenn Grothman (District 20) resigned prior to the session start after being sworn into the 114th United States Congress
  2. Republican Duey Stroebel was elected in District 20 to succeed Grothman.
  3. Republican Rick Gudex (District 18) died.

External links

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