"You're Taking Nine Months of Vacation?"
The last floor session of the 2015-16 Legislative Session was on March 15,
2016. Over the last two weeks, I have shared highlights of the legislation we
passed on the last day of our session. I am very proud of all we have
accomplished over the last two years.
· Summarizing and following-up on the outcomes of the last legislative session.
· Reviewing the legislation and concepts that did not pass for reintroduction or revision.
· Studying several large-scale issues that may require legislative activity in the next budget or session.
· Meeting with constituents, businesses, organizations, and individuals in the 17th Senate District for input, ideas and planning for 2017.
· Analyzing data and statistics related to many different issues as we prepare for 2017.
· …and more.
There is also a lot of “quiet” work in the legislature that goes on
outside of the formal legislative session. Each day, our team fields phone
calls and emails from residents who need assistance navigating their state
government. These one-on-one conversations are “quiet” work, but extremely
important to the individuals who need our help. We will continue to fulfill
this duty and encourage anyone who needs assistance to call or email our
Governor Signs Marklein’s College Affordability Legislation
Monday, March 28, 2016 — State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green)
announced that Governor Scott Walker signed three bills related to College
Affordability, to become law today. Sen. Marklein authored the Senate
versions of the bills.
Signs Five Marklein Bills
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 — State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green)
announced that Governor Scott Walker signed five bills authored or
co-authored by Sen. Marklein today, including Assembly Bill (AB) 341 related
to terrorist threats.
Act 311 - Assembly Bill (AB) 341 / Senate Bill (SB) 256 – Terrorist Threats – – This bill was initiated by the Reedsburg Police Department in response to an incident that happened at a Reedsburg elementary school that disrupted the school day and caused panic. An individual threatened to “shoot-up” the school, which forced the administration to close the school and investigate. The person responsible could only be charged with a misdemeanor, even though they caused serious panic and cost the community time and money for law enforcement actions, lost work time, and more. The bill was co-authored with Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg).
This bill makes any threat to cause death, bodily injury, or property damage by any means to prevent the occupation of a building, vehicle, or other public place of assembly, into a Class I felony. This law would also apply if the individual intends to cause interruption or public panic. The penalty for a Class I felony in Wisconsin is a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to three years and six months. This bill aligns penalties for terrorist threats, such as threatening to shoot children at a school, with existing penalties for making a bomb threat.
Other bills signed Wednesday include:
Act 287 - AB 765 / SB 628 – Health Care Data Modernization – This bill makes technological updates to health care data laws while protecting patient-doctor relationships and confidentiality. One of the more significant upgrades will allow hospitals to more efficiently target resources to areas where they identify health patterns. For example, if a particular community happened to have a lot of residents with diabetes, a health care provider may target programming geared toward managing diabetes. This legislation was drafted at the request of hospitals in my Senate District.
Act 309 - AB 721 / SB 603 – Abandoned US Savings Bonds - This bill changes state law so that an abandoned U.S. savings bond held by the State of Wisconsin that remains unredeemed for five years after final maturity is presumed abandoned and subject to the custody of this state under this state’s version of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.
Act 312 - AB 731 / SB 604 – ABLE Accounts – This bill repeals the authority to create ABLE accounts in WI and creates tax benefits for contributions to ABLE accounts in other states. This bill is meant to enable all individuals with disabilities to access and create ABLE accounts from other states that are near to launching programs. Allowing access to other states will be more efficient and immediate than creating a separate program in Wisconsin.
Act 310 - AB 760 / SB 584 – Enforcement actions for DATCP – This bill expands the type of enforcement actions in which a court may order a defendant to reimburse DATCP for costs incurred in preparing and prosecuting the case, including actions relating to future service plans, rental vehicles, self-service storage facilities, time shares, and foreclosure consultants. The defendant would only reimburse the state for investigative costs if he or she settles the case with a negotiated civil forfeiture or is found guilty by the courts. This bill would allow the courts to require proven violators of the law to cover these costs, as opposed to passing the costs onto taxpayers.
“This has been a very productive session,” Marklein said. “I am proud of our achievements and appreciate all of the input, ideas and encouragement I have received from the residents of the 17th Senate District.”
Act 309, Act 310, Act 311 and Act 312 were signed into law today,
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State
Capitol. Act 287 was signed as a part of the Wisconsin Hospital Association
Advocacy Day events in Madison, WI.
In The 17th Senate District
Sen. Marklein volunteered as a part of the Get Real! Financial Literacy Event at Richland Center High School on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Sen. Marklein and a member of his team helped high school students learn about real-world financial responsibilities through a simulation exercise coordinated by the Richland County UW Extension.
In The State Capitol
class from Mineral Point Elementary School toured the State Capitol on
Thursday, March 31, 2016.
Revenue Collections: February 2016 (Fiscal Year 2015-16)
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) recently released a report detailing general purpose revenue (GPR) taxes collected by the agency for the month of February. This data is for the first eight months of the fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2016.
Wisconsin's revenue collections are following the national trend. Income tax withholdings and wage growth appears to be good, but consumers are cautious and are not spending as consumer confidence is guarded.
Department of Revenue Collections
2016 (FY 2016)
*Source: Department of Revenue
Senator Howard Marklein is pleased to
provide this legislative E-Update for the constituents of the 17th State
Senate District. Please feel free to share this update with other interested
citizens and taxpayers. You are receiving this update because you have either
subscribed or contacted Senator Marklein directly.
State Capitol - Room 8 South - Post Office Box 7882 - Madison, Wisconsin 53707 - Phone: (608) 266-0703