Draft Update

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Bylaws of the
Governor's Committee for People with Disabilities


The name of this organization shall be the Governor's Committee for People with Disabilities, hereinafter referred to as the Governor's Committee.


Pursuant to Executive Order No. 37, issued December 2,1983, and Executive Order #241, issued January 20, 1995, the Governor's Committee is charged with assuming the responsibility for the functions of the former Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and expanding its scope of responsibility to include the full range of concerns of people with disabilities which may be appropriately addressed by state government. The Governor’s Committee is dedicated to enhancing the health and general well being of disabled citizens in Wisconsin. To pursue this purpose, the Committee will strive to achieve the following goals:

1. Consult with and advise the Governor and state agencies on issues and legislation related to full inclusion in the workforce and community of people with disabilities;

2. Support programs and policies that educate and encourage individuals with disabilities to increase independence and economic self-sufficiency;

3. Encourage coordination between local, state and federal agencies in their disability initiatives to improve educational and employment outcomes for people with disabilities;

4. Promote a favorable climate in the business community that works to eliminate barriers that preclude equal consideration for employment opportunities of people with disabilities;

5. Promote the collection, dissemination, and  incorporation of adequate information and use of public and private resources that will enable and encourage individuals with disabilities to work and live independently; and

6. Encourage the effective involvement in government on issues affecting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, including access to affordable healthcare, transportation, housing and education.

The Governor’s Committee will identify state and/or local issues of importance concerning people with disabilities and report annually to the Governor on recommended solutions.


Section 1: Composition

A. The Committee shall be composed of individuals:

1.) Who represent a broad range of individuals with disabilities;

2.) Who have demonstrated interest in the concerns of all disability groups; and

3.)  A majority (51%) of whom are persons with disabilities and/or parent-guardians of persons with disabilities.

B. The Committee shall consist of not more than 20 members. Of the 20 members, one committee member must be an appointed from the following state councils: 

1) the Council on Blindness;

2) Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing,

3) Council on Developmental Disabilities,

4) Council on Mental Health,

5) Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, and

6) Council on Physical Disabilities. 

Such persons shall remain committee members so long as they are members in good standing of the council from which their appointment originates.

C. The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Governor’s Committee.

Section 2: Term of Service

A. A member of the Governor’s Committee shall be appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Governor or to fill an unexpected term caused by death or resignation of a Committee members.

B. In the event there is a delay in reappointment, members shall serve until their successors are appointed.

C. The Governor's Committee, acting through its Executive Committee, shall submit to the Governor for his consideration a list of candidates for all vacancies.


Section 1: Regular and Special Meetings

A. Members shall be expected to attend Governor's Committee meetings on a regular basis. Any member missing two consecutive meetings shall be contacted to determine his/her interest in serving on the Committee. The missing of three consecutive meetings without due cause shall be construed as a de facto resignation.

B. The Executive Committee will schedule regular meetings of the Governor’s Committee at least four times each calendar year. 

C. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson in consultation with the Executive Committee when there are compelling reasons to do so. Appropriate provisions of Chapter 19, “Wisconsin Statutes”, shall govern all meetings.

D. Meeting notices of the Council, its standing committees, and ad hoc committees shall be given to all members at least seven days prior to the date of the meeting, along with an agenda of items for consideration at such meeting. Mailing by email or surface mail to the member’s registered address shall be deemed adequate notice.

E. Minutes of all meetings shall be mailed to the members as soon as reasonably possible following the conclusion of each meeting.

F.  Public notice as provided under the Wisconsin Open Meeting Law shall be given prior to each meeting. Any matters not appearing on the agenda may be considered upon a favorable vote of the majority of the quorum.

Section 2: Quorum

The presence of a simple majority (51%) of the voting members of the Committee, excluding vacancies, constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. When a quorum is not present, those present may adjourn the meeting without further notice without taking any action.

Section 3: Reimbursement of Expenses

A. Reasonable expenses incurred by members shall be reimbursed for attending regular and/or special meetings of the Governor's Committee, and for attending Executive Committee and other sub-committee meetings of which the individual is a member or has been invited to attend by respective Chairpersons. Further expenses on official business may be reimbursed in whole or in part at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

B. All such reimbursements shall be subject to the limitations of funds available to the Governor's Committee and shall be governed by the uniform guidelines for travel expenses as established by the Department of Health and Family Services. Governor's Committee members, including officers, shall receive no other compensations.

C. If an appointed Committee member requires a personal aide in order to attend and participate in meetings, such member(s) shall receive reimbursement for the expenses of said aide or care.

Section 4: Resignation, Removal

A. Member of the Committee may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chairperson.  Such resignation takes effect at the time specified therein, or, if no time is specified, then upon its acceptance by the Committee.

B. The Council may recommend to the Governor that a Member on the Committee be removed. Such recommendation requires a two-thirds (66%) majority vote of those Members present at a regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of the Committee.

C. The Executive Committee may grant a leave of absence to any appointed member.

Section 5: Voting Power

Each member of the Governor's Committee shall have one vote on matters brought before the Committee. There shall be no proxy or alternate votes permitted.


Section 1: Officers Listed

The officers of the Governor's Committee shall be: Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

Section 2: Tenure

Both officers shall serve a term of one calendar year and shall take office the first meeting after the elections. Officers may serve successive terms through the election process of the Governor's Committee. The tenure of officers may extend beyond one calendar year should the Committee elect to postpone elections under Article VI, Section 1.

Section 3: Duties of Officers


A. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Governor's Committee and of the Executive Committee, and shall be an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominations Committee.

B. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall appoint the chairpersons to all standing and subcommittees.

C. The Chairperson shall be the official representative of the Governor's Committee but may delegate this responsibility when appropriate and necessary.

D. The Chairperson shall submit the official annual report of the Governor's Committee activities to the membership and to the Governor.

E. The Chairperson shall provide and execute general supervision of the  staff. The Chairperson shall also perform all other duties incident to the office of the Chairperson.


A. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson, and when so acting shall have all the powers of and be subject to all restrictions upon the Chairperson.

B. Succeeds the Chairperson in the event of a vacancy until the Council determines next election;

C.  The Vice-Chairperson shall perform such other powers and duties as may be from time to time assigned by the Chairperson or by the Committee.

If both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson will be absent from a Council meeting, the Chairperson shall assign another member of the Council to preside over the meeting.

Section 4: Resignation, Vacancies, and Removal

A. Any elected, appointed, or succeeding Officer may resign from said office by a written letter to the Chairperson, or staff of the Governor’s Committee.

B. If the position of Chairperson becomes vacant for any reason, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the position of Chairperson until the next election of officers.  A vacancy in the position of Vice-Chairperson shall be filled by appointment made from the membership of the Executive Committee.

C. The Chairperson and/or Vice-Chairperson who fails to fully and faithfully discharge the duties of the office may be removed from office by a two-thirds (66%) majority of those Members present at the next regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of the Council.


Section 1: Composition

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three members-at-large of the Governor’s Committee, and the immediate-past Chairperson. Voting membership of the Executive Committee shall include at least one man and one woman, and shall include at least one person with a disability or a parent or guardian of a person with a disability.

Section 2: Duties

The Executive Committee shall provide overall direction to Committee activities, make recommendations on administrative and organizational matters as appropriate and may act on behalf of the Council. The committee shall perform additional duties as charged by the Committee Chairperson.

Section 3: Meetings

A. The quorum required for conducting meetings by the Executive Committee shall be three duly elected members, one of whom must be the Chairperson or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson.

B. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or upon petition to the Chairperson by two members-at-large of the Executive Committee.

C. All members of the Executive Committee shall be sent notice prior to Executive Committee meetings. Such notice shall be mailed and transmitted to the location as specified by each member of the Executive Committee.


Section 1: Elections of Officers and Executive Committee members

A. Elections for the positions of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the Executive Committee members-at-large (3) shall be conducted annually at the first Governor's Committee meeting of the calendar year. The Chairperson shall appoint a Nominations Committee subject to the concurrence of the members of the Executive Committee. 

B. Following the last meeting of the calendar year, the Nominations Committee shall solicit from all members nominations for each position. Each member shall be permitted to nominate any member(s), including themselves, for any position(s). The names of all members so nominated shall be presented to the Committee at least two weeks prior to the first meeting of the calendar year. Additional nominations for each position shall be permitted to be made from the floor by all members. The slate of candidates for each position shall consist of all nominees, with the exception of those nominees who request that their own names be withdrawn.

C. If the composition requirement for the Executive Committee (Article V, Section 1 of the bylaws) cannot be satisfied by the Executive Committee slate, as determined following the elections for Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, then the incumbent Chairperson shall solicit further nominations in an effort to form a slate which potentially satisfies the composition requirement. If, in the discretion of the incumbent Chairperson, such requirement cannot be satisfied, the election shall be held notwithstanding the failure to satisfy the requirement.

D. Separate elections by secret ballot shall be conducted for each position, beginning with Chairperson, then Vice-Chairperson, then Executive Committee. Candidates shall be elected by a simple majority of the votes cast. When no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off election shall be held from among the candidates receiving the two largest vote totals. The Chairperson may rule, without objection, that any unopposed nominee is elected by general consensus.

E. Upon a majority vote of members present at any meeting, the elections to any or all of the positions may be postponed beyond the first meeting of the calendar year.


Section 1: Standing Committee

The Nominations Committee shall be a standing committee of the Governor's Committee, with its Chairperson and members being appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Special or Sub-Committees

The Governor's Committee, through its Chairperson, may establish sub-committees deemed essential to fulfilling the Governor's Committee mandate. Appointments, including Chairperson to head each sub-committee, shall be made by the Chairperson of the Governor's Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Section 3: Committee Membership

Special or sub-committees may be composed of both Governor's Committee members and non-members as the chairperson in consultation with the Executive Committee deems appropriate. Non-Governor's Committee members may be appointed as voting or non-voting (ex officio) members of said committees.

Section 4: Duties

All special or sub-committees shall regularly report to the Chairperson of their activities for Committee approval and further discussion.



The Governor's Committee may employ staff as authorized by the Executive Committee and shall be within funding levels available to the Governor's Committee.


All meetings of the Governor’s Committee shall be conducted and decisions reached by consensus whenever possible. When consensus is not achieved, business shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, most recent edition, in the absence of specific provisions delineated by these by-laws.

Meetings of the Executive Committee, standing committees and sub-committees shall be governed by accepted rules of parliamentary procedure only when a majority of members present agree it is necessary or appropriate.


These by-laws may be amended, repealed or restated during any regular or special Governor's Committee meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present providing that written notice of proposed amendments has been distributed to all members ten days prior to the meeting.


These by-laws shall be effective when approved by a majority of the Governor's Committee members.

Adopted               04-27-77

Amended             03-14-79

Amended             12-01-84

Amended             09-10-88

Amended             03-12-94

Amended             09-13-97

Amended             02-02-00

Amended             06-15-01

Amended             12-14-04