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Earlier this week, the City of Monroe faced a tragic set of
events that required the diligent attention of local law
enforcement during the Green County Fair, when several law
enforcement assets were deployed to the fair.
I want to pass along my heartfelt gratitude to the deputies who
responded to this dangerous situation. The efforts of two Green
County Sherriff’s deputies prevented what could have been
further bloodshed and kept our community safe. The calm poise
and professionalism exhibited by Monroe Police Chief Fred
Kelley, Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff, and both of their
departments was exemplary. It is my understanding that all law
enforcement personnel, including the Monroe Police Department,
Green County Sheriff’s Department, Green County District
Attorney, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, performed
exactly as they had been trained to perform. My thanks to the
men and women who stand ready in these situations to keep us all
As a side note, the recent state budget included funding and
staffing for the Department of Justice to investigate officer
involved shootings. I must admit that we tend to think that
these officer involved shootings occur in the bigger cities of
our state. The recent event in Monroe reminds us that these rare
circumstances can happen anywhere.
The State of Wisconsin’s Credit Card
When I ran first ran for office one of my top concerns was the
condition of Wisconsin’s “credit card.” For many years we had
been taking on a considerable amount of debt, were pushing off
payments on that debt into the future, and were not properly
dealing with our commitments. With the signing of the 2015-2017
budget, it’s useful to look at a snapshot of what kind of
progress we have made on slowing our borrowing and paying off
what’s been borrowed in the past.
As we have discussed over the last several months, every two
years the State of Wisconsin tackles a new budget. These budgets
determine how we spend the revenue we collect through taxes and
fees. We also authorize specific amounts of bonding – or
borrowing – for each two year period. The authorization of
borrowing is similar to the maximum level you can borrow on your
credit card. The 2015-2017 state budget contains $652 million in
bonding, the lowest level of authorized bonding since 1987.
This is a very positive development for the State of Wisconsin.
As we borrow less it becomes easier for us to manage our current
and future payments. What we don’t borrow now, we don’t have to
Some level of borrowing, particularly for projects that
encourage strong economic growth, is not necessarily a bad
thing. Borrowing becomes a problem when we reach levels of debt
that we are unable to pay back. This was the case for several
years in Wisconsin’s past. From 2007 to 2011 Wisconsin
restructured debt payments and pushed more than $1.5 billion
dollars of payments on debt into the future.
Annual GPR Debt Service ($ in Millions)
||Debt Payment Owed
*Source: Legislative Fiscal Bureau
The table above shows the struggle that Wisconsin was under in
paying its obligations. We had run up too much debt on our
“credit card” and instead of making the required payments, we
were delaying them into the future. For anyone who has put
together a household budget, we know this can’t go on forever.
Unfortunately, because of those past decisions we are now making
larger payments on our debt, but I am confident we can bend the
cost curve downward.
The budget that was just signed by Governor Scott Walker was
good news for Wisconsin’s “credit card” in multiple ways. Not
only did we budget to make full payments on past debt, but we
created the lowest level of debt in 30 years. This is an
extremely positive development for our state, and I’m hopeful we
can continue these trends in the future.
more information and to connect
with me, visit my website
and do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input,
ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.
In the District
Woodford State Bank Celebrates 100 Years!
Last week, I had the honor of presenting a plaque to Woodford
State Bank in Monroe, WI for celebrating their 100 year
anniversary. Woodford State Bank officially opened in November
1915 and grew from 1 bank, originally in Woodford to 4 branches
in Monroe, Argyle, South Wayne and Blanchardville, totaling $185
million in assets. Woodford is a locally owned, community bank,
primarily serving Green and Lafayette counties for the past 100
years. Thanks for having me!
*Scott DeNure, Woodford State Bank President
and CEO and Senator Howard Marklein
*Daryll Lund, Executive Vice President and
Chief of Staff for Wisconsin Bankers Association, Scott DeNure,
Woodford State Bank President and CEO, Senator Howard Marklein,
and Tim Daly, Vice President of Independent Community Bankers of
Wisconsin Local Employment and Unemployment Estimates
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) estimates of unemployment and
employment statistics for metro areas, major cities and counties
in Wisconsin. The estimates include revisions for May 2015 and
preliminary estimates for June 2015.
The following table shows the local unemployment rates from June
2014 and June 2015 for the counties in our district.
I continue to hear from a number of employers within the
district that there are a number of job openings.
*Department of Workforce Development
Homeowners: Be on Alert for Storm Chasers
A recent release from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture,
Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) warns homeowners who have
experienced storm damage to be on alert for home improvement
workers who plan to rip you off. We’ve already seen a number of
storms come through the 17th Senate District, it’s important to
be on the lookout. See their release below:
MADISON – Summer storms in Wisconsin can be brutal. If
your property is damaged due to severe weather, it’s good to
remember that another kind of storm may be brewing: transient
home improvement workers who rip off homeowners. The Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
warns Wisconsin residents to be on the lookout for these “storm
“Every year we hear from consumers who have been conned by storm
chasers,” said Frank Frassetto, Division Administrator for Trade
and Consumer Protection. “Don’t be hasty when doing your
homework on the contractor you hire.”
Storm chasers charge high prices for shoddy work, or offer a low
price to get an upfront payment and then run off with a victim’s
money. The workers are often from out of state and move quickly
from town to town, making them difficult to track. The workers
pressure homeowners for a down payment, and sometimes increase
the price of the job when they ask for the final payment.
“Never let these workers into your home and don’t give in to
high-pressure tactics,” said Frassetto.
A Wisconsin state law – “The Storm Chaser Law” – gives DATCP
enforcement tools to protect consumers and honest businesses and
aims to prevent insurance fraud. Highlights of the law include:
Contractors cannot promise to pay all or some of a property
Contractors cannot represent or negotiate with the
customer’s homeowner’s insurer on behalf of the customer.
The contractor can, with the consent of the customer,
discuss damages and costs associated with the repairs with
Before entering into a contract with a customer, the
contractor must give the customer a questionnaire to
determine whether the work requested is related to an
Customers have a right to cancel the contract within three
business days of being notified that their insurer has
denied all or any part of the claim for work. Contractors
must notify customers of this right.
additional Consumer Protection tips for homeowners with storm
Hire a contractor based on referrals. Ask friends and
neighbors for recommendations and ask contractors for
references. Before you sign a contract, contact DATCP to see
if we have received complaints about the business.
Try to get a local contractor. Ask contractors if they
are subcontracting your job. Be careful if local contractors
are using outside subcontractors.
Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs.
Lien waivers protect you if the person collecting the money
does not pay the suppliers or workers.
Get a written contract with a start and completion date and
warranty information. Also, make certain that the
contract states exactly what work is to be done and what
materials are to be used. Never rely on a verbal commitment.
Ask to see the contractor’s state registration card.
Make sure that any contractor you are considering hiring
shows you their state registration card.
Have someone watch the work being done. Check with your
local building inspector to see if the work requires a
permit. Make sure an inspector visits the job site before
you make a final payment.
a copy of the contractor's certificate of liability
insurance.For additional information or to file a complaint,
visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov,
send an e-mail to
email@example.com or call the Consumer Information
Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
*Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
legislative E-Update to the constituents of the 17th State
Senate District. Please feel free to share this update with
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