Wisconsin State Senate

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

Wisconsin Senate
Wisconsin State Legislature
Term limits
New session started
January 7, 2019
Roger Roth (R)
since January 3, 2017
President pro tempore
Howard Marklein (R)
since January 3, 2017
Majority Leader
Scott L. Fitzgerald (R)
since January 8, 2013
Minority Leader
Jennifer Shilling (D)
since January 5, 2015
Political groups


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary$50,950/year + $153 per diem
Last election
November 6, 2018
(17 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020 (16 seats)
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Senate

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

The salary for legislators serving in the 2017 Wisconsin Legislature - $50,950 - is unchanged from the previous session. The salary for legislators serving in the 2015 session was increased by 2 percent from the $49,943 rate that had been in effect for the previous three bienniums. Before that increase, the most recent increase was an increase of 5 per-cent from the 2007 session to the 2009 session. The Speaker of the Assembly receives an additional stipend, which is currently $25 per month.[1]

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.

2016 general election

Following the 2016 elections, the Wisconsin State Senate maintained a Republican majority in January 2017 for several reasons. Democrat Julie Lassa lost her re-election to Patrick Testin. Following the retirement and death of Republican Senator Rick Gudex, Republican Dan Feyen defeated Democrat Mark Harris. The Senate currently has 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

Current session


19 14
Republican Democratic
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
Begin 100th Legislature (2011) 19 14 33 0
End 100th (2012) 16 17
Begin 101st (2013) 18 15 33 0
End 101st (2014) 17 32 1
Begin 102nd (2015) 18 14 32 1
End 102nd (2016) 18 32 1
Begin 103rd (2017) 20 13 33 0
End 103rd (2018) 18 15 33 0
Begin 104th (2019) 19 14 33 0
Latest voting share 57.58% 42.42%

Senate officers

Position Name
President of the Senate Roger Roth
President Pro Tempore of the Senate Howard Marklein
Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald
Assistant Majority Leader Dan Feyen
Majority Caucus Chair Van Wanggaard
Majority Caucus Vice Chair Patrick Testin
Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling
Assistant Minority Leader Janet Bewley
Minority Caucus Chair Mark Miller
Minority Caucus Vice Chair Janis Ringhand
Chief Clerk Jeffrey Renk


Senator DistrictPartyResidenceCurrent ageFirst electedNext election
Andre Jacque 01RepBellevue3920182022
Robert Cowles 02RepGreen Bay6919872020
Tim Carpenter 03DemMilwaukee5920022022
Lena Taylor 04DemMilwaukee5320042020
Dale Kooyenga 05RepBrookfield4020182022
La Tonya Johnson 06DemMilwaukee4720162020
Chris Larson 07DemMilwaukee3920102022
Alberta Darling 08RepRiver Hills7519922020
Devin LeMahieu 09RepSheboygan4720142022
Patty Schachtner 10DemSomerset5720182020
Stephen Nass 11RepWhitewater6720142022
Tom Tiffany 12RepHazelhurst6120122020
Scott Fitzgerald 13RepJuneau5619942022
Luther Olsen 14RepRipon6820042020
Janis Ringhand 15DemEvansville6920142022
Mark F. Miller 16DemMonona7620042020
Howard Marklein 17RepSpring Green6520142022
Dan Feyen 18RepFond du Lac5120162020
Roger Roth 19RepAppleton4120142022
Duey Stroebel 20RepSaukville6020152020
Van H. Wanggaard 21RepRacine6720142022
Robert Wirch 22DemKenosha7619962020
Kathy Bernier 23RepChippewa Falls6320182022
Patrick Testin 24RepStevens Point3120162020
Janet Bewley 25DemAshland6820142022
Fred Risser 26DemMadison9219622020
Jon Erpenbach 27DemMiddleton5819982022
David Craig 28RepVernon4020162020
Jerry Petrowski 29RepMarathon6920122022
Dave Hansen 30DemGreen Bay7120002020
Jeff Smith 31DemEau Claire6420182022
Jennifer Shilling 32DemLa Crosse5020112020
Chris Kapenga 33RepDelafield4720152022

Past notable members

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. Salaries of elected officials effective January 2017 LRB REPORTS FEBRUARY 2017, VOL. 1, NO. 2

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