The Wisconsin Ethics Commission was created by 2015 Wisconsin Act 118, which eliminated the Government Accountability Board on June 30, 2016 and replaced it with two separate commissions to oversee the administration of elections and ethics. Information about the Wisconsin Elections Commission is available on its website: elections.wi.gov.
The Wisconsin Ethics Commission is required by statutes to meet in person four times each year, but may hold additional meetings if deemed necessary. Please click on the "Commission Meeting Schedule" header link above to view the events calendar and find the next scheduled meeting.
The Commission is comprised of six members, who serve for 5-year terms. One member is appointed by the senate majority leader; one appointed by the senate minority leader; one appointed by the speaker of the assembly; one appointed by the assembly minority leader; and two are individuals who formerly served as judges for a court of record in this state, who were elected to the positions in which they served, and who are nominated by the governor with the advice and consent of a majority of the members of the senate confirmed. A detailed description of the appointment of Commissioners is provided in WIS. STAT. § 15.62. The transition plan from the Government Accountability Board to the Ethics Commission put forth by the Department of Administration established a rotational term schedule of the Commissioners. The Commission elects a chair and vice-chair from its members by a majority vote.
The nonpartisan staff of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission is led by an Administrator who is appointed by the Commission and who is subject to confirmation by the Wisconsin State Senate. The administrator serves as the agency head, and is responsible for the daily operations of the Commission. The Commission staff is non-partisan, including the administrator. The agency has a staff of 4.55 GPR and 3.45 PR full-time employees. The Commission administers and enforces Wisconsin law pertaining to campaign finance, lobbying, and the Code of Ethics (Wisconsin Chapters 11, campaign finance; Chapter 13 Subchapter III, lobbying; and, Chapter 19 Subchapter III, the code of ethics). The duties of the Ethics Commission are codified in WIS. STAT. §§ 11.1304, 13.685, and 19.48.