Wisconsin still uses the constitution it adopted at the time of statehood in 1848. It is one of the oldest state constitutions. An amendment to the constitution may be proposed by the legislature or by a constitutional convention. To be ratified, an amendment must be approved by a majority of people voting on the issue in a general election.
The state’s chief executive, the governor, is elected for a four-year term. Other elected executive officials in the state are the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and state treasurer. All of the elected officials serve four-year terms.
The Wisconsin legislature consists of a Senate of 33 members and an Assembly of 99 members. Senators are elected for four-year terms, and representatives are elected for two-year terms. Regular sessions of the legislature are held annually. Special legislative sessions may be called by the governor or by a majority of the legislators.
The highest state court in Wisconsin is the Supreme Court. Most of its work consists in hearing appeals from lower state courts. The court is made up of seven justices, who are elected for ten-year terms.
The justice with the longest service on the state supreme court serves as its chief justice. The major trial courts in the state are circuit courts. The decisions of the circuit courts may be appealed to the state court of appeals. Both the circuit court judges and the judges of the court of appeals are elected for six-year terms. The state also has municipal courts, whose justices are elected for four-year terms. All judges are elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties is governed by a board of supervisors elected for a two-year term. Following a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in 1965, these boards have been elected on the basis of population, rather than area. Other elected county officials include the clerk, treasurer, sheriff, clerk of the circuit court, registrar of deeds, coroner, surveyor, and district attorney. All are elected for two-year terms.
Each of Wisconsin’s towns is governed by a board consisting of a chairperson and two to four supervisors. All are elected for two-year terms. The cities are governed under the mayor and city council or council and city manager form of municipal government. Villages in Wisconsin are governed by elected supervisors. Wisconsin has two U.S. senators and eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The state has ten electoral votes. "Wisconsin" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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