Joseph Knilans

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Joseph ("Joe") Knilans is a Republican Representative in the state of Wisconsin representing Wisconsin's 44th Assembly district. He was elected to the Assembly in 2010.[1]

Knilans was employed by General Motors for 13 ½ years before they closed their Janesville plant. While attending University of Wisconsin - Whitewater he interned with Congressman Paul Ryan in Janesville.[2]

Knilans lost his bid for reelection on November 6, 2012 to Democrat Debra Kolste.[3]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Knilans sits on the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Rep. Knilans co-authored or co-sponsored 9 bills that reflect ALEC models, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy. 

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

ALEC Bills Supported

2011 Regular Session (bill sponsored or co-sponsored):

2011 Regular Session - bills voted for:

January 2011 Special Session:

January 2011 Special Session

  • AB 5 (Supermajority) - requires a supermajority to pass tax increases. Compares to ALEC's model Super-Majority Act(pdf)[4]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources


Madison Office:

Room 7 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

Voting Address:
1516 Winchester Place
Janesville, WI 53548
Telephone: (608) 266-7503 Or (888) 947-0044
Fax: (608) 282-3644


  1. Wisconsin State Legislator Representative Joseph Knilans, 44th Assembly District Biography/state legislative website, accessed July 31, 2011
  2. Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Republican Assembly Candidate Profiles (pdf) Manual/biographical compilation, 126 pp. at pdf page 52, accessed July 31, 2011
  3. Wisconsin Vote, 2012 Election results, accessed November 29, 2012.
  4. Democracy Addicts Joe Knilans, Project SmartALEC/Wisconsin legislators. Database. Accessed August 1, 2011