Capitol Update

by Senator Howard Marklein

April 7, 2023

Learning & Listening 

The legislature’s budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) continues to do our work on the next state budget.  We recently invited four state agencies to brief our committee and started a series of four public hearings around the state.
Both agency briefings and public hearings are opportunities for committee members and other legislators to listen and learn as we begin to design the next state budget.  We intend to write a budget that is custom-made for the people of Wisconsin. In order to accomplish this goal, we must take time to listen to the public, meet with state agencies, visit with constituents, connect with the people we serve and learn as much as we can along the way.
Prior to our public hearing in Waukesha, a reporter asked us what we hoped to hear. I thought my colleague’s response was perfect. I’m paraphrasing, but Co-Chair Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) said that he hoped to hear new ideas. He said that every time we conduct a public hearing, he is looking for unique ideas and perspectives. I agree!
It is also very important to hear the personal stories shared by attendees. I often say that the best legislation comes from the people we serve. You are raising families, operating businesses, doing work, volunteering and leading our communities. You know what is needed – and what is not – for our state. You know where we have obstacles. You know things that I don’t know – because you have unique experiences and perspectives.
We have a couple of public hearings remaining on our schedule. I hope you will join us if you are able. We will be at the Davies Student Center at UW Eau Claire on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  On Wednesday, April 12, 2023, we will be at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center at the Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells. Finally, we will be in Minocqua at Lakeland Union High School on April 26, 2023.
If you are unable to join us at a public hearing, we welcome you to submit your ideas and comments to the entire committee via our website: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/topics/budgetcomments/. Feedback you share via this website will be circulated to the entire committee.
I also welcome you to reach out to me directly. As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me to provide input, ideas or to seek assistance.  Send an email to sen.marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov or call 608-266-0703. I want to hear from you.