Capitol Update

Helpful Wisconsin Links

Visiting Madison?
I would be happy to arrange a capitol tour for you.  Call my office at (608) 266-0703 for more info.
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Helping the Harvest

It is harvest season here in the 17th Senate District. The soybeans on my farm were harvested last week. Many of my neighbors are working long hours to bring in their crops. 

The weather has been great for combining, which means that we may have to follow some big machines on our local roads.  But each time you are following a line of traffic behind one of our local farmers, just remember that seeing combines, following tractors and catching the scent of manure in the breeze means that our agricultural industry is flourishing.  And this is good for all of us!

In a couple of weeks the harvest will be over and farm vehicles on our roads will be replaced by snow plows.  In the meantime, however, please have patience with us.

As the harvest continues, the legislature also continues to work on several initiatives related to our agricultural industry. We are currently updating Act 15, which made several changes to the law related to Implements of Husbandry (IoH) and Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicles (Ag CMV).

Wisconsin farms contribute 413,000 jobs and over $88 billion of economic value to our state. Agriculture is particularly important to driving economic growth in our corner of the state. That large economic impact depends heavily on the equipment used to cultivate and harvest fields. For many years agricultural equipment has been increasing in both size and weight. These increases pose a problem for our local roads and infrastructure.

In order to maintain roads and ensure safe transportation of agricultural goods, an update to the laws governing agricultural equipment was needed. The legislation primarily addressed issues of weight, length, height and width when operating and transporting farm machinery on Wisconsin roads.

There was also a significant effort to increase the lighting and marking of equipment on roads. Lighting and marking of equipment are valuable safety features when it comes to operating on public roads. Beginning November 1st, new regulations go in effect for operating wide equipment on our roads. Wide equipment is defined as any equipment that extends over the center line of a road. This farm equipment must have all required markings installed. This includes at least two amber flashing warning lamps, two yellow reflective strips, two red tail lamps, and a slow moving vehicle emblem.

With all the harvesting taking in place in Southwestern Wisconsin, now is the time to remind everyone of these important changes taking place. For further information regarding the new regulations please visit http://www.AgVehicles.DOT.wi.gov.

For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.


Senator Markleinís 2015 Fall Legislative Survey
If you havenít already, please take my 2015 Fall Legislative Survey. Below you will find a link to a 10 question survey seeking your thoughts on a number of relevant legislative issues and concepts that we will be discussing in the coming months.

This survey is available online at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein or please feel free to print out a copy from the link below and return it to me at PO Box 7882, Madison, WI 53703 or via fax at 608-282-3557. Please submit your survey by October 30, 2015.

For a PDF version of the survey, click here.

2015-16 Blue Books
The 2015-16 Blue Books have arrived at the Capitol! If you would like one, please let me know, I would be happy to make sure you receive a blue book.


In the District


St. Johnís Catholic School Capitol Visit
I was very excited to welcome St. Johnís Catholic School from Spring Green to the Capitol a couple weeks ago. It was great to see the excitement from the kids to learn more about what I do here at the Capitol and get a tour around the building. I joined our future leaders in the Senate Chamber for a picture! I went to St. Johnís School as a young boy and itís always fun to see the next round of students who could one day be our Representatives and Senators!

Thanks for visiting, St. Johnís!

Senator Howard Marklein with members of the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at St. Johnís Catholic School in Spring Green


Helpful Information


General Fund Balance
The Department of Administration recently released its annual fiscal year-end numbers. The State of Wisconsin finished the June 30, 2015 fiscal year with a positive cash balance of $135.5 million. For the year ended June 30, 2015, Wisconsin has taken in 4.3% more in total revenue than last year. This includes a 3.7% increase in individual income taxes and a 5.7% increase in sales and use taxes.

General Purpose Revenue (GPR) Taxes by Source

GPR Tax Collections

($ Millions)

Tax Source

FY 15

FY 14

$ Change

FY 15-FY 14

% Change

Individual Income $7,325.8 $7,061.4 $264.4 3.7%
General Sales & Use 4,892.1 4,628.3 263.8 5.7%
Corporation Franchise & Income 1,004.9 967.2 37.7 3.9%
Excise 699.1 698.7 0.4 0.1%
Inheritance, Estate & Gift -0.1 -0.1 0.0 0.0%
Public Utility 381.8 361.0 20.8 5.8%
Insurance Companies 165.5 165.8 -0.3 -0.2%
Miscellaneous 72.1 65.8 6.3 9.6%
TOTAL GPR $14,541.2 $13,948.1 $593.1 4.3%

Source: Department of Administration


Iím hopeful that we can continue to see strong revenue numbers, as this indicates improving economic conditions and expansion.



*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 other interested citizens and taxpayers. You are receiving this update because you have either subscribed or contacted Senator Marklein directly.

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State Capitol - Room 8 South - Post Office Box 7882 - Madison, Wisconsin 53707 - Phone: (608) 266-0703