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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State of Wisconsin: Annual Fiscal Report

Every year the State of Wisconsin issues an annual fiscal report detailing the revenue and spending of the state over the previous fiscal year. The report is completed on a cash accounting basis but still offers an opportunity to look at the ongoing condition of our state government. Taking a broad look at the tax dollars the state received and how we spent that money in the last year can reveal important lessons.

Crunching the numbers and looking closer at how state government spends money shows some of our priorities. The table below details the top 10 programs the State of Wisconsin funds with general fund tax dollars. Spending this year, last year, and the percent change in the ten biggest programs in our state is included.

Wisconsin’s investment in education remains a top priority while medical assistance represents an increasing amount of the state’s budget, mirroring increases in health costs and Medicaid enrollment. The Wisconsin Technical College System shows a large increase due to a $400 million investment in that system. The last budget included an increase of $400 million in aid to technical colleges, which allowed the colleges to reduce their tax levies. 

The second component of our state’s budget is revenue, or the tax dollars the state collects. Over the past year tax collections have increased by 4.3%, primarily a result of improving economic growth and activity. This included an increase in individual income taxes, sales and use tax, as well as corporate taxes.


Taking revenue and expenses together, I am hopeful we are moving in a positive direction for the State of Wisconsin. We continue to focus on making investments in our state, while being mindful of taxpayers, and ultimately keeping the bottom line for our state in mind. Wisconsin ended its June 30, 2015 fiscal year with a positive cash balance of $135.5 million.

For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov.  Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.


Wine Walks Signed into Law

On Wednesday, Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 236, the Wine Walks bill, into law. I’ve updated you on Wine Walks in the past and I’ve explained how this important change to the current law will allow communities to continue these important events and in turn, businesses will continue to thrive. I am thankful to everyone in the communities affected by these changes for all of their help and for the swift action taken by both the Senate and the Assembly.


Pictured above: Mandy Sitzman (Lodi Chamber), Grace Colas, Senator Howard Marklein, Marianne Hanson (Portage Chamber), Jim Murphy (WRJC Mauston), Lacey Steffes (Downtown Baraboo), Representative Dave Considine, Mayor Mike Palm (City of Baraboo), Katy Prange, and Governor Scott Walker

Senator Marklein’s 2015 Fall Legislative Survey
If you haven’t 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. Mary’s School Visits the Capitol!

This week, third, fourth and fifth graders from St. Mary’s School in Richland Center visited Representative Ed Brooks and I in the Capitol. It was great to take a break in my day to visit with them.

*Senator Howard Marklein and Representative Ed Brooks with students and faculty from St. Mary’s of Richland Center

Thank for visiting, St. Mary’s School!

Helpful Information

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 August 2015 and preliminary estimates for September 2015.

I’d like to point out that of all of the counties in Wisconsin, two of the five counties with the lowest unemployment rates are in the 17th Senate District. Also noteworthy, three of the best nine counties for unemployment rates are in the 17th Senate District.

The following table shows the local unemployment rates from September 2015 and September 2014 for the counties in our district.

Local Unemployment Rates


































*Source: Department of Workforce Development



*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