Wisconsin State Resource Center
Wisconsin Statewide Offices
- Attorney General
The Wisconsin Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the state of Wisconsin. The attorney general provides legal advice and representation for all state agencies. The office of the attorney general is divided into five main offices: division of legal services, division of management services, division of criminal investigation, division of law enforcement services and office of crime victim services.
The Governor of Wisconsin is the highest executive authority in the government of the state of Wisconsin. The Governor is responsible for ensuring that the laws of Wisconsin are carried out, and is also required to "communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the state, and recommend such matters to them for their consideration as he may deem expedient." Any bill passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature must be presented to the governor, who either signs it into law, or vetoes it. He is also is the commander-in-chief of the militia of the state and has the power to pardon or commute sentences or grant reprieves thereto, except in cases of treason or impeachment.
- Lt. Governor
The Lt. Governor serves as "acting governor" when the governor is temporarily unable to perform the duties of the office due to impeachment, incapacitation, or absence from the state. If the incumbent governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the Lt. Governor becomes governor for the balance of the unexpired term. When the governor designates the Lt. Governor to represent the governorís office on any statutory board, commission, or committee on which the governor is entitled to membership, the Lt. Governor has all the authority and responsibility granted by law to the governor.
- Secretary of State
The Office of the Secretary of State is headed by an elected Secretary of State. The Secretary of State maintains the official acts of the Legislature and Governor, and is the keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin. In addition, the Office administers program responsibilities set forth in the Wisconsin Statutes, including issuing notary public commissions; issuing notary authentications and apostilles; recording annexations and charter ordinances of municipalities; registering trade names and trademarks; publishing legislative acts; filing oaths of office; and filing deeds for state lands and buildings.
- State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is considered part of the Midwest. The word Wisconsin has its origins in the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian speaking American Indian groups living in the region at the time of European contact. However, through the course of its many variations, the Algonquian source word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure.
- State Treasurer
The primary divisions of the Treasurer's Office and their functions are as follows: the Local Government Investment Pool, which records and processes the monies of local government units participating in the Pool; Unclaimed Property, which receives and maintains custody and records for all property received under the provisions of the uniform unclaimed property act and general escheat laws and reviews, and if necessary, audits business and corporate records to assure compliance with unclaimed property statutes; Wisconsin College Savings Program, which provides a flexible, yet structured way to help save for Wisconsin's childrens' college education.
Wisconsin Legislative Branch
- Wisconsin Legislature
The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin Senate and the lower Wisconsin Assembly. With both houses combined together, the Wisconsin Legislature is composed of 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts.
Wisconsin Court Rules and Forms
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Eastern District of Wisconsin Forms
The Eastern District has a number of local forms that supplement the Official and Director's forms. Links to these locally developed forms, some of which are fillable forms are provided.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Eastern District of Wisconsin Rules
Provides links to Bankruptcy Court Local Rules in pdf format.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Western District of Wisconsin Forms
Provides links to Bankruptcy petition and schedules, proof of claim form, adversary cover sheet, subpoenas, and other official bankruptcy forms in fillable PDF format.
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Western District of Wisconsin Rules
Provides links to Bankruptcy Court Local Rules.
- Wisconsin Circuit Court Forms
Provides links to standard, statewide forms that are required by all Wisconsin circuit courts for civil, criminal, family, guardianship, juvenile, mental commitment, probate and small claims cases.
- Wisconsin Circuit Court Rules
Provides links to Wisconsin circuit court rules by county, for the counties that publish their local rules online.
- Wisconsin Court of Appeals Forms
Provides links to forms designed for use in the appeals process. These forms are in MS Word format and may be filled in electronically and printed for filing or printed and filled in manually.
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules
Proivdes links to Supreme Court Rules in html and pdf format.
- Wisconsin Trial Court Rules
Provides link to instant pdf download of the Uniform Rules for Trial Court Administration.
Wisconsin Judicial Branch
- State Law Library
The mission of the State Law Library is to serve the legal information needs of the officers and employees of the state, and of attorneys and the public. It provides the highest quality of professional expertise in the selection, maintenance and use of materials, information and technology in order to facilitate equal access to the law.
- Wisconsin Court System
The Wisconsin Court System includes the Municipal courts; the Circuit courts; the Court of Appeals; and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Each of the three levels of court in Wisconsin has a different function, but the entire court system shares a commitment to dispensing justice fairly, impartially, and according to the law.
Wisconsin Executive Branch
- Department of Administration
The Department of Administration (DOA) supports other state agencies and programs with services like centralized purchasing and financial management. DOA also helps the governor develop and implement the state budget. The ultimate goal of all DOA's programs is to offer Wisconsin residents the most efficient, highest-quality state government services possible.
- Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is the agency responsible for food safety, animal and plant health, protecting water and soil and monitoring fair and safe business practices. The Department inspects and licenses more than 100,000 businesses and individuals, analyzes millions of laboratory samples, conducts hundreds of hearings and investigations, educates businesses and consumers about best practices, adopts rules that have the force of law, and promotes Wisconsin agriculture at home and abroad.
- Department of Commerce
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is the state's leading agency for fostering the growth and diversification of the economy of the state. The mission of the department is to drive retention and creation of quality jobs and promote safe, healthy communities. This mission is carried out through the administration of statewide business development programs, including export development assistance, minority- and women-owned business certification, entrepreneurship services, and economic development financing programs. The Department also manages the small business environmental assistance program, markets the state, invests in community development, and works to prevent homelessness.
- Department of Corrections
The mission of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public through the constructive management of offenders placed in its charge. Some of the ways it accomplishes its mission is by providing levels of supervision and control consistent with the risk posed by the offender; providing for the humane and respectful treatment of offenders; providing and managing resources to promote successful offender integration within the community; actively responding to staff victimization and promoting wellness; educating the public on what the Department does and how it does it; and much more.
- Department of Financial Institutions
The Department of Financial Institutions coordinates the state regulation, licensing and enforcement activities for over 15,000 Wisconsin financial institutions and services, including: state-charted banks and savings institutions; mortgage bankers/brokers; the securities industry; and a myriad of other licensed financial service providers. In addition, the department has responsibility for the administration of the state's corporate filing activities, the Uniform Commercial Code lien filing system, and the Wisconsin Consumer Act.
- Department of Health Services
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin. To accomplish this, DHS administers a wide range of services and programs, including: Disability Determination; Family Care; FoodShare; Medicaid; Senior Care; and the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program.
- Department of Military Affairs
The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) provides essential, effective, and responsive military and emergency management capability for the citizens of Wisconsin and the nation. DMA includes Joint Force Headquarters-Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard, and the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management.
- Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is dedicated to the preservation, protection, effective management, and maintenance of Wisconsin's natural resources. It is responsible for implementing the laws of the state and, where applicable, the laws of the federal government that protect and enhance the natural resources of the state. It is the one agency charged with full responsibility for coordinating the many disciplines and programs necessary to provide a clean environment and a full range of outdoor recreational opportunities for Wisconsin citizens and visitors.
- Department of Public Instruction
The Department of Public Instruction is the state agency that advances public education and libraries in Wisconsin. The department is headed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a nonpartisan, constitutional officer elected every four years.
- Department of Regulation and Licensing
The Department of Regulation and Licensing. along with related professional boards, protect the citizens of Wisconsin by ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals. The department regulates by fairly administering education, experience, and examination requirements, setting professional practice standards, and ensuring compliance by enforcing occupational licensing laws. It is organized into four divisions and the Office of the Secretary. The divisions are, Board Services, Enforcement, Management Services, and Professional Credential Processing (including the Office of Education and Examination).
- Department of Revenue
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is responsible for the collection of taxes as well as valuing property and the wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages and enforcement of liquor laws.
- Department of Tourism
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has been around since 1996, the year it became a cabinet-level department. The Department's mission is to inspire people to love the Wisconsin experience. Tourism one of the top three industries in the state of Wisconsin.
- Department of Transportation
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) was officially established in 1967 by combining formerly independent agencies and the Department of Motor Vehicles (which included the State Highway Commission, State Aeronautics Commission and State Patrol). WisDOT supports all forms of transportation, and is responsible for planning, building and maintaining Wisconsin's network of state highways and Interstate highway system.
- Department of Veterans Affairs
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) was created in 1945 to consolidate separate veterans programs under one agency. Today, WDVA provides grants, loans and a variety of services to eligible Wisconsin veterans and their families. WDVA's mission is to work on behalf of Wisconsinís veterans community, veterans, their families and their survivors, in recognition of their service and sacrifice to the State of Wisconsin and the nation.
- Department of Workforce Development
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is the state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin's workforce. DWD also administers the state's Unemployment Insurance program; the Workers' Compensation Division; and provides services for employers, workers and youth.
- Office of State Employment Relations
The Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) provides leadership and support to other state agencies in human resources management. OSER oversees the state civil service system, negotiates state labor contracts, manages labor relations, and leads the state's affirmative action and equal opportunity employment programs.
- Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) ensures that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately meets the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Some of OCI's major functions include: reviewing insurance policies that are sold in Wisconsin to make sure they meet the requirements set forth in Wisconsin law; conducting examinations of domestic and foreign insurers to ensure compliance with Wisconsin laws and rules; monitoring the financial solvency of licensed companies; issuing licenses to the various parties involved in selling and marketing insurance products; and operating a state life insurance fund, a property fund for the property owned by local units of government, and a patients compensation fund insuring health care providers for medical malpractice.
- Office of the State Public Defender
The mission of the Office of the State Public Defender is to promote justice throughout Wisconsin by providing high-quality and compassionate legal services, protecting individual rights, and advocating as a criminal justice partner for effective defender services and a fair and rational criminal justice system.
- State Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society helps people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. It is both a state agency and a private membership organization. The Society was founded in 1846, and it ranks as one of the largest, most active, and most diversified state historical societies in the nation.
- State Park System
The Wisconsin State Park System is a division of the Department of Natural Resources. It provides places for outdoor recreation and for learning about nature and conservation. State parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas report about 14 million visits a year.
Travelwisconsin.com is the official web site of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The site provides a complete guide to the state's attractions and events and is the authority for information to plan one's next Wisconsin vacation or getaway.
- Wisconsin Emergency Management Division
Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) is a division of the Department of Military Affairs. WEM coordinates effective disaster response and recovery efforts in support of local governments. Through planning, training and exercising WEM prepare itself, Wisconsin's citizens and response personnel to minimize the loss of lives and property. The process of emergency management involves four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Wisconsin Boards and Commissions
- Government Accountability Board
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) administers and enforces Wisconsin law pertaining to campaign finance, elections, ethics and lobbying. G.A.B. is organized into two divisions: The Elections Division and the Ethics and Accountability Division. The Legislature, in 2007 Wisconsin Act 1, merged the former State Elections and Ethics Boards to create the G.A.B., which began its work in January 2008.
- Higher Educational Aids Board
The Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) is responsible for the management and oversight of the state's student financial aid system for Wisconsin residents attending institutions of higher education. It also may enter into interstate agreements, such as remission of nonresident tuition. HEAB administers programs of student financial aid, including grant, scholarship, and loan programs; tuition reciprocity agreements; and tuition capitation contracts.
- Public Service Commission
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is an independent regulatory agency dedicated to serving the public interest. PSC is responsible for the regulation of Wisconsin public utilities, including those that are municipally-owned. Types of utilities regulated include electric, natural gas, water, combined water and sewer utilities and certain aspects of local telephone service.
- State of Wisconsin Investment Board
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), created in 1951, is responsible for managing the assets of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the State Investment Fund (SIF) and other state trust funds.
- Wisconsin Arts Board
The Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB) is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage.
- Wisconsin Educational Communications Board
The Educational Communications Board (ECB) is committed to ensuring that public radio and television programs and services are made available throughout Wisconsin, and that these programs and services reflect and respond to the educational and cultural needs of the state's residents. ECB plans, develops, constructs and operates statewide public radio, public television, and educational telecommunication systems.
- Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) works closely with lenders, developers, local government, nonprofits, community groups and others to implement its low-cost financing programs. WHEDA provide low-cost, fixed interest rate mortgages to low- and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase their first home. WHEDA also works with developers to finance affordable rental housing, and support economic development and agriculture through the agency's small business guarantee programs.