Wisconsin Constitution
Article IV - Legislative
Section 26 - Extra compensation; salary change.

Universal Citation: WI Const art IV § 26
[As amended April 1956, April 1967, April 1974, April 1977, and April 1992]
  1. The legislature may not grant any extra compensation to a public officer, agent, servant or contractor after the services have been rendered or the contract has been entered into.
  2. Except as provided in this subsection, the compensation of a public officer may not be increased or diminished during the term of office:
    1. When any increase or decrease in the compensation of justices of the supreme court or judges of any court of record becomes effective as to any such justice or judge, it shall be effective from such date as to every such justice or judge.
    2. Any increase in the compensation of members of the legislature shall take effect, for all senators and representatives to the assembly, after the next general election beginning with the new assembly term.
  3. Subsection (1) shall not apply to increased benefits for persons who have been or shall be granted benefits of any kind under a retirement system when such increased benefits are provided by a legislative act passed on a call of ayes and noes by a three-fourths vote of all the members elected to both houses of the legislature and such act provides for sufficient state funds to cover the costs of the increased benefits. [1953 J.R. 41, 1955 J.R. 17, vote April 1956; 1965 J.R. 96, 1967 J.R. 17, vote April 1967; 1971 J.R. 12, 1973 J.R. 15, vote April 1974; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977; 1989 J.R. 55, 1991 J.R. 13, vote April 1992]

This section does not prohibit a retroactive wage adjustment negotiated by collective bargaining and applied only to a period when employees were working without a contract. Department of Administration v. WERC, 90 Wis. 2d 426, 280 N.W.2d 150 (1979).

Payments to roadbuilders for extra compensation due to unexpected fuel costs violated this section. Krug v. Zueske, 199 Wis. 2d 406, 544 N.W.2d 618 (Ct. App. 1996), 94-3193.

The sub. (3) requirement of a three-fourths vote of all members elected to the legislature permits passage of a bill increasing benefits under a retirement system when the bill has received the votes of three-fourths of the entire elected membership of the legislature. Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Inc. v. Lightbourn, 2001 WI 59, 243 Wis. 2d 512, 627 N.W.2d 807, 99-3297.

An amendment authorizing increased benefits to all retired employees would constitute a legislative declaration that such expenditures would be for a public purpose. 58 Atty. Gen. 101.

University salaries may be increased only from the date the regents adopt the budget and are subject to subsequent funding by the legislature. 60 Atty. Gen. 487.

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