In construing Wisconsin laws the following rules shall be observed unless construction in accordance with a rule would produce a result inconsistent with the manifest intent of the legislature:
(1) Singular and plural. The singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular.
(2) Gender. Words importing one gender extend and may be applied to any gender. Any person who by statute, rule or ordinance is designated a chairman, alderman or other similar title may use another equivalent title such as, in the case of a chairman, “chair”, “chairperson”, “chairwoman” or other such appropriate title.
(3) Tenses. The present tense of a verb includes the future when applicable. The future perfect tense includes past and future tenses.
(4) Time, how computed.
(a) The time within which an act is to be done or proceeding had or taken shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last; and when any such time is expressed in hours the whole of Sunday and of any legal holiday, from midnight to midnight, shall be excluded.
(b) If the last day within which an act is to be done or proceeding had or taken falls on a Sunday or legal holiday the act may be done or the proceeding had or taken on the next secular day.
(c) When the last day within which a proceeding is to be had or taken or an act done, which consists of any payment to or the service upon or the filing with any officer, agent, agency, department or division of the state or of any county, city, village, town, school district or other subdivision of the state, of any money, return, statement, report, notice or other document, falls on a Saturday and the duly established official office hours of such officer, agent, agency, department or division to which such payment is to be made or upon which such service is to be made or with which such return, statement, report, notice or other document is required to be filed, do not include any office hours thereof on such Saturday, said proceeding may be had or taken or such act may be done on the next succeeding day that is not a Sunday or a legal holiday.
(d) Regardless of whether the time limited in any statute for the taking of any proceeding or the doing of an act is measured from an event or from the date or day on which such event occurs, the day on which such event took place shall be excluded in the computation of such time.
(e) “Legal holiday” as used in this section means any statewide legal holiday provided in s. 995.20. When an act is permitted to be done by the use of the postal service, and the last day within the time prescribed by law for performing such act falls on a legal public holiday under federal law, or other holiday designated by the president such that the postal service does not receive registered mail or make regular deliveries on that day, the day shall be considered a legal holiday for purposes of this section.
(5) Statutory references.
(a) If a statute refers, by number, to a group of chapters, sections, subsections or paragraphs of the statutes, the reference includes both the first and the last numbers mentioned.
(b) When a decimal-numbered statute of this state contains a reference to another decimal-numbered statute of this state, the reference is to the current text of the statute referenced, and includes any change that has been inserted into and any interpretation or construction that has been adopted with respect to the referenced statute since the reference was first incorporated into the statute, whether or not the referenced statute is a general, specific, substantive or procedural statute. When a decimal-numbered statute refers to another decimal-numbered statute in a specific prior edition of the Wisconsin statutes, the reference does not include subsequent changes to the statute referenced.
(6) Statute titles and history notes. The titles to subchapters, sections, subsections, paragraphs and subdivisions of the statutes and history notes are not part of the statutes.
(7) Construction of revised statutes. A revised statute is to be understood in the same sense as the original unless the change in language indicates a different meaning so clearly as to preclude judicial construction. If the revision bill contains a note which says that the meaning of the statute to which the note relates is not changed by the revision, the note is indicative of the legislative intent.
(8) Joint authority, how exercised. All words purporting to give a joint authority to 3 or more public officers or other persons shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such officers or other persons.
(8m) Quorum. A quorum of a public body is a majority of the number of members fixed by law.
(9) Acts by agents. If a statute requires an act to be done which may legally be done by an agent, such requirement includes all such acts when done by an authorized agent.
(10) Liability of sureties. If an officer is liable on his or her official bond for any act, the sureties on the officer’s bond are also liable.
(11) Severability. The provisions of the statutes are severable. The provisions of any session law are severable. If any provision of the statutes or of a session law is invalid, or if the application of either to any person or circumstance is invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
(12) Time. When time is referred to, the standard of time as provided by s. 175.09 or 175.095, whichever is applicable, is meant.
(13) Registered and certified mail. Except in s. 345.09, whenever the statutes authorize or require the use of registered mail, and do not require a return receipt of the addressee only, certified mail may be used if a sender’s receipt is obtained from the postal authorities and return receipt is requested. If a return receipt signed by addressee only is required, registered mail must be used.
(14) Statutory reference to numerical series. If a statute refers to a numerical series such as 1 to 10, the reference includes both the first and last number mentioned.
(15) Statutory reference to a class of city. If a statute refers to a class of city specified under s. 62.05 (1), such reference does not include any city with a population which makes the city eligible to be in that class unless the city has taken the actions necessary to pass into the class under s. 62.05 (2).
(16) Degrees of kinship. The degree of kinship is computed according to the rules of the civil law, as follows: [See Figure 990.001 (16) following]
Figure: 990.001 (16)
(17) Live birth or circumstance of being born alive.
990.001(17)(a) (a) An individual who undergoes a live birth is born alive.
(b) If a statute or rule refers to a live birth or to the circumstance in which an individual is born alive, the statute or rule shall be construed so that whoever undergoes a live birth as the result of an abortion, as defined in s. 253.10 (2) (a), has the same legal status and legal rights as a human being at any point after the human being undergoes a live birth as the result of natural or induced labor or a cesarean section.
(c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) may not be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract a legal status or legal right that is applicable to a human being at any point before the human being undergoes a live birth.