Capitol Update

by Senator Howard Marklein

April 12, 2024


My Legislative Report Card

The 2023-2024 legislative session is winding down and I am proud to report that we have successfully moved 20 bills all of the way through the legislative process to become law.  This is a testament to the important issues we worked on and our bi-partisan effort to get things done for the people of the 17th Senate District.
In total, I authored 37 bills. Again, 20 of them were signed into law while two were vetoed, three resolutions were adopted by the legislature and 12 did not move all of the way through the process. These bills will be considered for re-introduction in the new session that begins in January 2025.
Following are the details:
Marklein Bills Signed into law:

  • Act 4 – Protective Status for County Jailers,
  • Act 13 – Creation of the Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP),
  • Act 19 – State Budget bill,
  • Act 36 – Internal Revenue Code Updates,
  • Act 67 – ATV Communications Grant structure,
  • Act 69 – Designating State Hwy 80 as the Desert Storm, Desert Shield Memorial Highway,
  • Act 77 – Broadband Grant Program Reform,
  • Act 102 – Funding for UW Building Projects and Maintenance,
  • Act 121 – Electric Vehicle Charging Policy to allow private sector participation,
  • Act 122 – Electric Vehicle Charging budget authority for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to accept federal funds,
  • Act 135 – Expansion of a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district in Evansville to enable a soy processing facility,
  • Act 149 – Department of Revenue (DOR) updates,
  • Act 151 – Non-profit audit threshold reform,
  • Act 152 – Revising a member definition for the Ag Education Workforce Development Council,
  • Act 176 – Medflight Staffing for juvenile patients,
  • Act 177 – Directing the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to apply for a waiver related to Institutes for Mental Disease (IMD) so that these facilities can serve more people,
  • Act 181 – Adding two rural members to the statewide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) board,
  • Act 221 – Structure for the WISCOM Grant program to provide interoperable radios for public safety,
  • Act 249 – Enables DHS to issue certifications for new, 24/7 regional mental health facilities,
  • Act 250 – Campus Community Transition Grant program to help communities affected by the closure of a UW Branch Campus.

Resolutions adopted by the legislature:

  • Recognize the 50th Anniversary of the National Wild Turkey Federation,
  • Proclaim June 7, 2024 as Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Day,
  • 2nd Consideration of a Constitutional Amendment to return oversight of Federal funds to the legislature.

Bills vetoed by the Governor:

  • Middle Class Tax Cut,
  • Standardizing the interest rate on over and under-payments of state taxes.

Bills that did not make it all of the way through the legislative process:

  • Allowing counties to require licenses for animal-drawn vehicles, aka: the Buggy Bill,
  • UWSP Institute for Sustainable Technology funding – this was funded with COVID-relief funding,
  • Dairy Product Labeling,
  • Milk Labeling,
  • GAAP Constitutional Amendment – to require WI to budget using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP),
  • ATV Omnibus – several changes to ATV/UTV-related laws and regulations,
  • Non-resident hunting fee increase,
  • EMS Omnibus – several changes to rural EMS-related laws and regulations,
  • Length of Service Award Reform,
  • Seasonally maintained highways – to allow local governments to designate some roads as seasonal,
  • State Fair Admission Tax Exemption,
  • State Park Reservation Reform – to provide preference to Wisconsinites.

Again, I am very proud of my work on your behalf, especially considering that my team and I were very involved in the State Budget process for the first half of 2023.  Our success in moving legislation through the legislative process is a testament to the good ideas that you provide and the advocacy that citizens of the 17th Senate District. 
I am actively crafting plans for legislative priorities for the 2025-26 legislative session.  If you have any ideas, challenges or suggestions, please contact me!
Please consider a Subscription to My Weekly E-Update - Every Friday at 11 a.m., I send a legislative E-Update to share information, updates and data to subscribers. This is the very best way to stay up-to-date on my work on your behalf. If you would like to subscribe, please send me an email to Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov and I will add you to the list. An archive of past E-Updates is available on my website: www.legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein  
As always, if you need assistance with any state-related matters, please call our team at the State Capitol – 608-266-0703 – or email me – Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov.  My team is ready, and willing, to help navigate your state government, clear obstacles and receive your input.