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GCPD: By-Laws

Article I


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

Article II


The Governor’s Committee was established per Wisconsin Statute 14.019, and pursuant to Executive Orders. The Governor’s Committee is dedicated to enhancing the health and general well-being of people of all ages with disabilities in Wisconsin. The Governor’s Committee shall consult with and advise our Governor and state agencies on legislation, programs, policies, and issues affecting people with disabilities in all aspects of our society.

The Governor’s Committee shall encourage local, state, and federal agencies to improve the following for people with disabilities: educational and employment opportunities; increase access to appropriate healthcare, transportation, and housing; and eliminate any and all barriers that preclude equal opportunity and full inclusion. In order to promote a more open dialogue between Wisconsin citizens and their government, the Governor’s Committee shall provide an opportunity at each meeting for the public to comment on issues affecting people with disabilities.

Article III


Section 1: Composition

A. The Governor’s Committee shall be composed of individuals who represent all disabilities and who have demonstrated an interest in the concerns of all disability and age groups. A simple majority of Governor’s Committee members shall be people with disabilities.

B. The Governor’s Committee shall consist of not more than nineteen (19) voting members. Six of the nineteen members will be appointed, one from each of the following state councils: Statutory Council on Blindness; Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Board for People with Developmental Disabilities; the Council on Mental Health; Statutory Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse; and Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities. These council appointed members shall remain Governor’s Committee members so long as they are members in good standing on the council from which their appointment originates.

In the event a state council does not appoint a representative to the Committee, the Governor's Committee Executive Committee shall seek alternatives that, within the by-laws, ensure representation by all disability groups.

C. In addition to the nineteen voting members, the Lieutenant Governor shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Governor’s Committee.

Section 2: Term of Service

A. Members of the Governor’s Committee are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

B. It is preferred that potential appointees experience disability, have a record of disability, and/or are regarded as having a disability.

C. The Governor's Committee, acting through its Executive Committee, shall submit to the Governor, a list of candidates for all vacancies along with recommendations regarding appointment.

Section 3: Voting Authority

A. Each member of the Governor’s Committee shall have one vote on matters brought before the Committee.

B. Members shall abstain from voting on any issue in which they have a conflict of interest (i.e., a vote resulting in a member’s personal or financial gain).

C. If a member is unsure if there is a conflict of interest, they should bring the issue before the Governor’s Committee. Whether a conflict exists shall be decided by a majority vote of all committee members present.

There shall be required disclosure of any licensed lobbyist serving on the committee. Lobbyists shall abstain from any vote on a matter that may benefit themselves or their principal.

D. There shall be no proxy or alternate votes.

E. Virtual or accessible electronic means of voting shall be accepted in lieu of in-person votes.

Section 4: Resignation and Removal

A.  If, for any reason, a member of the Governor’s Committee is unable to serve, the member needs to submit a letter of resignation to the Governor’s Office. The letter does not need to give a reason, but the letter does need to include an effective date of resignation from the Governor’s Committee. If the letter does not include effective date of resignation, it will be assumed that the resignation will be effective as of the date the Governor’s Office receives the letter. The Governor’s Committee requests that a copy of the letter also be sent to the Department of Health Services (DHS) staff member.

B. Any member missing two (2) consecutive meetings without due cause or a leave of absence approved in advance by the Chairperson shall be contacted by the Chairperson, or designee appointed by the Chairperson, to determine their interest in continuing to serve on the Governor’s Committee.

C. The missing of three (3) consecutive meetings without being excused (or due cause) will be construed as a de facto resignation.

D. The Governor’s Committee may recommend to the Governor that a member be removed. Such a recommendation requires a two-thirds (66%) majority vote of those members present at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Governor’s Committee.

E. Governor’s Committee Executive Committee may grant a leave of absence to any member.

Article IV


Section 1: Regular and Special Meetings

A.   All members of the Governor’s Committee are expected to regularly attend committee meetings and to prepare for and actively participate in committee discussions.  

B. If a member cannot attend a meeting, the member should email or call the GCPD Chairperson with an explanation as to why they are unable to attend the meeting.

C. If a member requires an accommodation(s) to fully participate in Governor’s Committee meetings including, but not limited to, accessible meeting materials, interpreter, personal care assistant, food allergies, or other reasonable accommodation requests, they must submit a timely request to the Governor’s Committee Chairperson.

D. Members and guests may, at their personal discretion attend meetings either in-person or electronically by telephone or other means.

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

F. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson in consultation with the Executive Committee when there are compelling reasons to do so.

G. All meetings of the Governor’s Committee, it’s Executive Committee, and all sub-committees shall be governed by the appropriate provisions of Chapter 19 of the Wisconsin Statutes and Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law [Wis. Stat. § 19.81(1)] as described in the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law Compliance Guide, published by Attorney General Brad D. Schimel (November 2015) and as updated in Executive Order No. 235 (3/12/2017).

H. Notice of meetings of the Governor’s Committee, its Executive Committee, standing sub-committees, and ad-hoc committees shall, at a minimum currently 10 business days in advance, be given in accordance with the provisions of Wisconsin Open Meetings Law Compliance Guide, published by Attorney General Brad D. Schimel (November 2015) and as updated in Executive Order No. 235 (3/12/2017). The open notice meeting notice will include the meeting agenda. The agenda must provide sufficient detail to identify subject of discussion. If a subject or topic was not identified on the agenda, it may not be discussed.

I. Notification of meetings will be sent via email to the email address provided by the member and will be posted to the Governor’s Committee’s website. This shall be deemed adequate notice. If a member requires notification of meetings in another format, they shall request this accommodation from the Governor’s Committee Chairperson.

J. Minutes of all meetings shall be provided to the members as soon as reasonably possible following the conclusion of each meeting. Currently minutes are required to be posted to the Department of Administration’s website within 30 days of the meeting.

K. Time shall be reserved at each meeting for public comment on issues affecting people with disabilities. The Governor’s Committee may choose to respond to public comment it has received in writing or by other means during open meeting, as it deems needed and appropriate.

L. The Governor’s Committee, it’s Executive Committee, sub-committees, and ad-hoc committees reserve the right to meet in closed session for personnel and other confidential matters as outlined in Wisconsin State Statues (Wis. Stat. § 19.81 through 19.85).

Section 2: Quorum

The presence of a simple majority (51%) of the voting members of the Governor’s Committee, excluding vacancies, constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business. When a quorum is not present no actions or votes can occur. 

Section 3: Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

A. Reasonable travel expenses incurred by members shall be reimbursed for attending Governor’s Committee meetings, Executive Committee meetings, sub-committee meetings, or other meetings or conferences attended on behalf of the Governor’s Committee as authorized by the Governor’s Committee, based on the in-state travel rates for lodging, meals, and mileage as outlined in the state’s travel guidelines.

B. Only travel expenses incurred while conducting official state business can be reimbursed. All travel reimbursements are subject to the state’s travel guidelines rules, policies, and reimbursement rates.

Article V


Section 1: Officers

The officers of the Governor's Committee shall include a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

Section 2: Tenure

Officers shall serve a term of two (2) calendar years and shall take office immediately following adjournment of the meeting in which they were elected. The tenure of officers may extend beyond two calendar years should the Governor’s Committee elect to postpone elections (see Article VII Elections: Elections of Officers and Executive Committee Members). Officers may be re-elected to serve successive terms.

Section 3: Duties of Chairperson

A. The Chairperson shall conduct meetings in accordance with Article IV, Meetings.

B. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Governor's Committee and of the Executive Committee, and can be a member of sub-committees.

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 an annual report on the activities of the Governor’s Committee to committee members and to the Governor. Additionally, the Chairperson will ensure meeting minutes and Governor’s Committee records are maintained and are available to the public.

E. The Chairperson shall perform all duties incident to the office of the Chairperson including following up on all actions taken at meetings.

F.    If both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson are absent from a committee meeting, the Chairperson shall assign another committee member to preside over the meeting.

G.   Member resignations made in the absence of the Chairperson shall be made to the Executive Committee following the procedure as outlined in Article III, Membership, Section 4: Resignation and Removal.

Section 4: Duties of Vice- Chairperson

A. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson, and when acting in this capacity shall have all the powers and responsibilities of the Chairperson.

B. The Vice-Chairperson shall perform such other powers and duties as may be assigned by the Chairperson or by the Governor’s Committee.

Section 5: Resignation, Vacancies, and Removal of Officers

A. Any officer (elected, appointed, or succeeding) wishing to resign from the position they hold shall submit a letter of resignation to the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, or Executive Committee with an effective date of their resignation.

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.

C. If the position of Vice-Chairperson becomes vacant for any reason, the vacancy shall be filled by an appointment made from the membership of the Executive Committee.

D. The Chairperson and/or Vice-Chairperson who fails to fully and faithfully discharge the duties may be removed from office by a two-thirds (66%) majority vote of those members present at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Governor’s Committee.

Section 6: Official Positions of the Governor’s Committee and Member Actions

A.   Official positions of the Governor’s Committee related to legislation, programs, policies, and recommendations on issues affecting people with disabilities will only be adopted upon a majority vote.

B.   A Governor’s Committee member shall only represent a Governor’s Committee position if directed to do so by majority vote of the Governor’s Committee or as directed by the Chairperson.

Article VI

Executive Committee

Section 1: Composition

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and three voting members of the Governor’s Committee. Membership of the Executive Committee shall ideally include at least three people with disabilities.

Section 2: Duties

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

Section 3: Meetings

A. The quorum required for conducting meetings by the Executive Committee shall be three members of the Executive Committee, one of whom must be the Chairperson, or in their 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 (2) members of the Executive Committee.

C. All members of the Executive Committee shall be sent notice prior to Executive Committee meetings as outlined in Article IV, Meetings, Section 1: Regular and Special Meetings.

D.   The Executive Committee reserves the right to meet in closed session for personnel and other confidential matters as outlined in Wisconsin State Statues (Wis. Stat. § 19.81 through 19.85).

Article VII


Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

A. Elections for the positions of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and three Executive Committee members shall be staggered and conducted annually at the last scheduled meeting of the Governor's Committee of the calendar year. In odd numbered calendar years, the Governor’s Committee shall elect the Chair and one member-at-large, and, in even numbered calendar years, elect a Vice-Chair and two (2) Executive Committee members. The Chairperson shall appoint a Nominations Committee to solicit nominations and conduct the elections.

B. The Nominations Committee shall solicit nominations for each position at the meeting prior to the meeting at which elections are held. Each member shall be permitted to nominate any member(s), including themselves, for any position. The names of all members nominated shall be presented to the Executive or full Committee at least two weeks prior to the last meeting of the calendar year. Additional nominations from the floor shall be permitted for each position. The slate of candidates for each position shall consist of all nominees, with the exception of those nominees who request that their names be withdrawn from consideration.

C. If Executive Committee composition requirement (as outlined in Article VI, Executive Committee, Section 1: Composition) cannot be satisfied by the slate of candidates as nominated, then the Nominations Committee shall solicit further nominations in an effort to form a slate which potentially satisfies the composition requirement. If the composition 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 members. 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.

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

Article VIII


Section 1: Standing Committees

The Nominations Committee shall be a standing committee of the Governor's Committee. Appointment of the Nominations Committee Chairperson and committee members shall be made by the Chairperson of the Governor’s Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Sub-Committees and Ad-Hoc Committees

The Governor's Committee, through its Chairperson, may establish sub-committees or ad-hoc committees as deemed essential to fulfilling the Governor's Committee mandate. Appointment of a Chairperson to head each sub-committee and committee members shall be made by the Chairperson of the Governor's Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Section 3: Committee Membership

Sub-committees or ad-hoc committees may be composed of both Governor's Committee members and non-members as the Governor’s Committee Chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Committee, deems appropriate.

Section 4: Duties

All sub-committees and ad-hoc committees shall regularly report to the Governor’s Committee Chairperson on all activities of the committee and to the full Governor’s Committee for approval and further discussion.

Article IX


The Governor’s Committee will utilize staff as needed.

Article X

Parliamentary Authority

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 the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, in the absence of specific provisions delineated in these by-laws.

Article XI


These by-laws may be amended, repealed or restated during any regular or special Governor's Committee meeting by a two-thirds vote (66%) of the committee members present providing that written notice of proposed amendments has been distributed to all members ten days prior to the meeting.

Article X

Effective Date

Amended       11-16-22

Amended       04-26-18

Amended       12-14-04

Amended       06-15-01

Amended       02-02-00

Amended       09-13-97

Amended       03-12-94

Amended       09-10-88

Amended       12-01-84

Amended       03-14-79

Adopted         04-27-77

Includes: Changed the composition of the Governor’s Committee membership to include a simple majority of people with disabilities (51%); allows Executive Committee to find alternative representatives if Council’s will not appoint representation to ensure all people with disabilities are represented on the Committee; adds registered lobbyist disclosure; and changes election cycle for chair and vice chair.

Executive Orders











Patrick Lucey

Lee Sherman Dreyfus

Anthony Earl

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson

Jim Doyle

Scott Walker

Tony Evers

Order #












No more than 30 people

No more than 20 people

Disclaimer about advisory council content

This content reflects the views and opinions of the advisory council. It may not reflect the official policy or position of DHS.

Last revised October 6, 2023