Office of the Secretary of State, State of Wisconsin Office of the Secretary of State, State of Wisconsin State of Wisconsin Capital Dome

Publication of New Laws


Bills which become law are called "Acts".  The original bills, with cover pages bearing signatures of the Governor, Secretary of State, and Clerks of the Assembly and Senate, are preserved in the Office of the Secretary of State.  At the end of each two-year legislative session, the acts are bound into hardcover volumes for safekeeping.  Presently, all Acts from 1945 to the present are housed in the Office of the Secretary of State.  Original copies of previous laws are located at Wisconsin’s State Historical Society.

Since the passage of 2013 Act 2, a bill is now published the day after the Governor has signed it, and it becomes effective the day after it is published by the Legislative Reference Bureau, unless an effective date is specified in the text of the bill.

The new process is as follows:
After the Legislature passes a bill and it is signed by the Governor, the bill is electronically published by the Legislative Reference Bureau at:
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/Research/index.htm
The bill becomes effective the day after it is published by the Legislative Reference Bureau.  The bill is then delivered to the Office of the Secretary of State to schedule the printed version in the State Newspaper, currently the Wisconsin State Journal, in order to alert the public a new law has been created.  The newspaper notice will continue to contain the summary of the law, the date of publication and directions to obtain the full text of the new law.

The complete text of new laws may be obtained from the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Address:   1 East Main Street, Suite 200
        Madison, WI  53703
Website:    www.legis.state.wi.us
Phone:    (608) 266-0341
E-mail:    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/Research/index.htm.

Any questions regarding the publication dates of acts may now be directed to the Legislative Reference Bureau at (608)266-0341 or http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/Research/index.htm.