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September 28, 2012

Tips and tricks: WI Legislature website

If you missed our September class on using the Wisconsin Legislature website, you can still take advantage of these quick tips. We link to both the resources discussed below from the legislative branch section of our Wisconsin Law legal topic page.

Drafting Records

The 2011-2012 drafting files, official records of the bill drafting process, are now available online. Coverage for this valuable resource now spans from 1999 to 2012. Prior records (back to 1927) are only available in microfiche, which may be used at the Wisconsin State Law Library or the Legislative Reference Bureau Library.

Drafting records on the WI Legislature's website

Wisconsin Acts

Did you know that you can access older versions of the Wisconsin statutes, as well as Wisconsin acts from prior years from the legislature's website? The Wisconsin Law Archive provides access to statutes back to the 1969-1970 session and acts are linked back to the 1957-1958 session. Here's a tip we recently learned to access acts older than 1957.

If you edit the URL for any year back to 1949, the Acts for those years are available online as well.
  1. For example, take a link for the 1957-1958 acts:
  2. Edit the date in the URL to reflect the first date of a prior session (as far back as 1949). To access the 1951-1952 session's acts, we would type this into the browser:
Access acts from 1949 to 1956 with this quick URL-altering trick
If you have any questions about finding Wisconsin laws or using research resources, please Ask a Librarian.

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