2015-16 Blue Books

2015-16 Blue Books are a useful summary of information about our state.  These books are printed every session and are complimentary for every resident of Wisconsin. 


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The full content of the book is also available online.  Click Here!



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The Wisconsin Veterans Employment Initiative


Mark Twain once said, “You and I as individuals will fight tenaciously to defend our personal lives and freedom, but how incredible it is that the American soldier will fight and die for someone else’s freedom.”

My father was a World War II veteran, serving in the United States Marine Corps. Growing up, our family owned a dairy farm. We had a stanchion barn. My dad and I would milk cows—me on one side and my dad on the other. We milked twice per day, morning and night. Because I spent so much time with my dad milking, I learned about some of his memories growing up.

Occasionally, dad would talk about his service in the Marine Corp during World War II. He was a proud Marine, and proud to serve his country. He considered himself to be one of the lucky ones. He was thankful that the war ended before we had to land on Japanese soil.

Like my father, I am also grateful. I am grateful for my freedoms and I am especially grateful for the men and women who responded to the call of duty when our country needed them.

Right now, there are more than 400,000 veterans living in Wisconsin. Approximately 60,000 of these veterans have a service-connected disability. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate for veterans is currently higher than the general population.

In response to this need, I am proud to be the author of the Wisconsin Veterans Employment Initiative - Senate Bill (SB) 339 and Assembly Bill (AB) 441.

In June of 2014, Governor Walker issued Executive Order #137 relating to the Wisconsin Veterans Employment Initiative with a goal of increasing the number of veterans holding permanent state government positions. Executive Order #137 places a special emphasis on encouraging the employment of disabled veterans with service-connected disabilities who often face special challenges and barriers to gaining employment.

In response to the Executive Order, I partnered with Representative Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) to introduce SB 339 and AB 441 to create a Council on Veterans Employment. This council will advise and assist the Governor and state agencies with recruitment and employment of veterans. This effort will also emphasize veterans with a service-connected disability. The bill also requires state agencies to lay out a plan to recruit and retain more veterans in state government based on goals in each specific agency.

I believe Wisconsin has done a great job of providing opportunities for our veterans returning home. However, the Wisconsin Veterans Employment Initiative is another great step toward ensuring those veterans that return to our state after serving our country have the opportunities they need to succeed.

The assembly version of this bill received a public hearing in early December. The senate version of this bill awaits a public hearing and executive session before a full floor vote. I hope to see further action on both bills soon. I am happy to author this bill for the veterans in our communities and across the state of Wisconsin. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all veterans for all that they have done to preserve freedom and protect our country.


Voter ID Mandatory for February 16, 2016 & April 5, 2016 Elections

The primary election on February 16, 2016 (if needed) and the general election on April 5, 2016 will be the first times it is mandatory for voters to present a photo ID to vote.


Following are the forms of ID that may be used for voting purposes:

  • Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license, even if driving privileges are revoked or suspended,
  • Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card,
  • Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card or driver license without a photo issued under the religious exemption,
  • Military ID card issued by a U.S. uniformed service,
  • U.S. passport,
  • Certificate of naturalization that was issued not earlier than two years before the date of an election at which it is presented,
  • Driving receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days),
  • Identification card receipt issued by Wisconsin DOT (valid for 45 days),
  • Identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe in Wisconsin,
  • Photo identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university, college or technical college that contains date of issuance, signature of student, and an expiration date no later than two years after date of issuance. Also, the university, college or technical college ID must be accompanied by a separate document that proves enrollment.,
  • Citation or notice of intent to revoke or suspend a Wisconsin DOT-issued driver license that is dated within 60 days of the date of the election.

If you do not have one of the ID's listed above, you are eligible to request a free Wisconsin ID card to vote from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  CLICK HERE for more information about obtaining a free Wisconsin ID card for voting. 

Be sure to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to acquire an ID before voting!  For more information related to this new law, please visit the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's (GAB) website that explains the ID requirements for the next election.


In The 17th Senate District


Juneau County New Open World Programme Visits Capitol

Right before the holidays, I met with a group of leaders from Kazakhstan who were visiting Juneau County to learn more about our culture, business climate and leadership. I enjoyed providing them with a snapshot of government in Wisconsin.


Thank you to all of the host families in Juneau County who welcomed these visitors into their homes over the holiday season. Your hospitality and generosity are great appreciated and demonstrate the heart of our community.

Photo (l-r): Gary Kirking; UW Extension Juneau County, Alexandr Sviderskiy, Gulmira Suleimenova, Sen. Howard Marklein, Svetlana Zolotareva, Arman Sultanbek, April Martell; UW Extension Juneau County.


Useful Information


Revenue Collections: November 2015 (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 November. The following table shows the GPR collections to date as of November 30, 2015.


Department of Revenue Collections

November 2015 (FY 2016)
($ thousands)


Revenue Source

FY 2015

FY 2016

% Change





Individual Income




General Sales & Use








Excise Taxes








Total GPR




*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.

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