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Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.) / State of Wisconsin 1995-1996 Blue Book

Barish, Lawrence S.
Introduction,   p. [xii] PDF (355.9 KB)

Page [xii]

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   A perennial challenge for the Legislative Reference Bureau staff in compiling
each edition of
 the Wisconsin Blue Book is to ensure that the 1,000 pages of information
it contains are as accurate
 and up-to-date as possible. The process starts with carefully checking and
rechecking informa-
 tional sources. Throughout the editing phase, many persons proofread the
material to be sure it
 is both correct and readable. Our ultimate goal is total accuracy. Although
publications of this
 complexity seldom achieve that goal, the responses of our readers over the
years indicate the book
 comes very close to it. We recognize the role the Blue Book serves as the
official source of in-
 formation on state government and approach each edition with that responsibility
in mind.
   For this edition of the Blue Book, our ability to produce a more current
book was greatly en-
 hanced through the use of the Legislature's TEXT 2000 computer system. The
1995-1996 Blue
 Book is the first to be prepared almost entirely "in-house" by
the LRB staff without relying on
 outside support for formatting and composition. Thus, we were able to incorporate
last minute
 changes into the text that previously would have been inserted into an addendum,
if they were
 included at all.
   Despite these efforts, the 3-month period required to print, ship and
distribute the final product
virtually guarantees that a number of changes will have occurred by the time
the reader receives
the book. For example, as we send the book to the printer in mid-July 1995,
the Legislature has
just passed the 1995-1997 budget bill, which makes significant changes in
the structure of state
government. However, because there are still opportunities for the governor
to review and
possibly veto portions of the bill, followed by legislative review of any
vetoes, the changes for
the biennium will not be finalized until well after our production deadline.
Nonetheless, the vast
majority of information in the Blue Book is accurate, and it remains the
single most comprehensive
source of information about the organization of Wisconsin state government.
However, we en-
courage our readers to contact our reference desk at (608) 266-0341 for information
about changes
occurring after the book is printed.
    Each edition of the Blue Book includes a feature article which focuses
on some aspect of our
government, history or traditions. The article in the 1995-1996 edition traces
the history and
evolution of the Wisconsin Idea- the concept that the academic community
and state government,
working together, can improve the social, economic and political life of
Wisconsin's citizens. It
was written by LRB attorney Jack Stark, the author of two prior Blue Book
articles, and provides
a thoughtful analysis of historical events from a contemporary perspective.
The article explores
the roots of the Idea and details many examples of how it was applied for
almost a century and
eventually came to define our state. A shorter, related piece was contributed
by Alan Knox and
Joe Corry of the UW-Madison, who apply a wider perspective and focus on a
vision of the future
expansion of the Wisconsin Idea into the 21st Century. As companion pieces,
the articles reflect
the essence of the Wisconsin Idea: the intellectual and practical partnership
between the university
and state government.
  We hope that you find the 1995-1996 Wisconsin Blue Book a helpful, informative
and useful
resource. We encourage you to let us know if we have succeeded in meeting
this goal.
Lawrence S. Barish
  Blue Book Editor

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