Impartial Justice 2007

Bill proposed to reform judicial elections from the 2007-08 session of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Impartial Justice 2007

Senate Bill 171/Assembly Bill 250

February 27, 2008

Senate Bill 171 and Assembly Bill 250 are known as the Impartial Justice bill and call for the creation of a system of full public financing of state Supreme Court elections.

North Carolina has a system of full public financing for judicial campaigns in place and New Mexico recently adopted such a program. The Impartial Justice bill was introduced in previous sessions of the Wisconsin Legislature but did not pass.

Senate Bill 171 was introduced on April 27, 2007 and referred to the Senate Committee on Campaign Finance Reform, Rural Issues and Information Technology. A public hearing was held on SB 171 on May 1 and the committee approved the bill on May 8. It was referred to Joint Committee on Finance on October 29, 2007, withdrawn without committee recommendation on February 11, 2008. It was passed by the Senate on February 19 by a 23-10 vote.

AB 250 was introduced and referred to the Assembly committee on Elections and Constitutional Law on April 10, 2007. An attempt to pull the bill out of committee and bring it to a vote in the full Assembly was rejected on a 51-46 vote on February 27, 2008.