In addition to this weekly
E-Update, I also invite you to connect with me on local radio and TV. The schedule follows: 


Monthly Radio Shows


WEKZ - 93.7 FM

Wednesday mornings during the Lafayette County News


WRJC - 92.1 FM

1st Friday, 7:30 a.m.


WRCO - 100.9 FM

3rd Monday, 9 a.m.


WRDB - 1400 AM

3rd Friday, 10 a.m.


Monthly TV Shows


Reedsburg Utility Commission Cable Channel 12

Check Local Listings




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. 


If you would like one delivered or shipped to you (no charge to you), please reply to this email and include your street and mailing address.


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





Collaboration Works Across Government

This past week, county Sheriffs from several counties in the 17th Senate District were at the State Capitol as Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill (AB) 522 to become Act 164. I was proud to be the Senate lead on this bill and authored Senate Bill (SB) 389, the Senate version of the bill.

Act 164 addresses the unpredictability of reimbursements paid by the state to counties for housing and holding prisoners who have violated their conditions of probation, parole, or extended supervision. The law specifies that the Department of Corrections (DOC) is to reimburse a county $40 per day for holding an individual, with the ability to pro-rate the reimbursement if funding was not available for a variety of reasons.

Act 164 gives the DOC flexibility to charge a reasonable fee to violators of probation, parole and those on extended supervision to reimburse the department for the costs associated with providing supervision services. The reimbursement rate remains the same, but DOC is required to use money collected from supervision fees if the appropriation to reimburse counties for probation, parole, and extended supervision is insufficient for reimbursing a county for maintenance of a person placed in a county jail or other county facility pending the disposition of parole, extended supervision, or probation revocation proceedings. This change will insure that counties are fully reimbursed for their costs.

All of the Sheriffs from the counties I represent asked for this bill. The last time the counties were paid at a rate of $40 per day was in 2004. Since then, the costs of housing violators has increased, but the reimbursement rate has varied to an average of $28.08 to $32.55 per day. Act 164 gives the department flexibility to collect more from violators to cover the costs for which they need to reimburse the counties.

The Sheriffs who attended the signing told me that our collaboration is a great example of the way that different units of government can come together to solve problems. This problem was not just an issue between one county and the DOC. It was a problem suffered by all of our counties and resulted from statutory language that needed to be updated. The solution also would not require additional state taxpayer resources.

Collaboration among the Sheriffs, county governments, DOC and the state legislature produced a positive result for everyone involved. The counties will be reimbursed for their services. DOC received more flexibility to accomplish their mission. The legislature updated state statute to provide for this flexibility.

Photo (left to right): Juneau County Sheriff Brent Oleson, Vilas County Jail Administrator Bill Weiss, Sen. Howard Marklein, Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister, Vilas County Sheriff Joseph Fath, Governor Scott Walker, Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek, Walworth County Sheriff Kurt Picknell, former Walworth County Sheriff David Graves, Sauk County Chief Deputy Jeff Spencer, Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman.

Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek said, “I have been Sheriff of Iowa County for 13 years. I, and many other Sheriffs throughout the state, have worked on this issue every year and Senator Marklein got the job done. Thank you Senator Marklein, I and the citizens of Iowa County appreciate your hard work.”

Juneau County Sheriff Brent Oleson said, “On behalf of the taxpayers of Juneau County, I appreciate Senator Marklein’s hard work to pass this law. We have been working on this bill for a long time and appreciate that there is finally resolution to this issue.”

Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said, “Predictability is extremely helpful in our budgeting process. This bill helps our department plan and benefits taxpayers of Sauk County who have had to fill in the financial gaps left by low reimbursements.”

Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman said, “This bill benefits the taxpayers of Grant County who have had to make up the difference in the past. I am proud to be a part of this solution and appreciate Senator Marklein’s diligence in solving this issue with us.”

Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill said, “Lafayette County taxpayers were given some relief through this bill. We will not have to make up the difference from our county budget anymore and our department will be able to plan more effectively into the future.”

While this law may seem like it has limited impact to most of us, it is a great example of how different parts of government must work together to make changes, modernize and achieve positive results.

All too often, we see headlines that demonstrate disconnect between the Federal government and the state government; the local city council and a state agency; a school board and the legislature. But more often than not, the most successful legislation brings all of the stakeholders and responsible parties to the table to discuss, winnow and debate the merits of changes we propose to make.

The best bills come from strong discussion, thorough deliberation, mutual goals and collaboration. Act 164 is a good example of these things and was passed by a nearly unanimous, bi-partisan vote of the legislature. I appreciate all of the hard work done by our local Sheriffs and am honored to work with them to change this law.

Photo (left to right): Juneau County Sheriff Brent Oleson, Vilas County Jail Administrator Bill Weiss, Sen. Howard Marklein, Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill, Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister, Governor Scott Walker, Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek, and former Walworth County Sheriff David Graves.

Family Care / IRIS 2.0 Concept Plan Public Hearings


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) will be holding public hearings to solicit comment regarding the Family Care / IRIS 2.0 concept plan that will be submitted to the Joint Committee on Finance on April 1, 2016. A draft of the concept plan is available on the DHS website.


March 7, 2016 - 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Florian Gardens Conference Center

2340 Lorch Ae.

Eau Claire, WI 54701


March 7, 2016 - 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall

1919 Alliant Energy Center Way

Madison, WI 53713


Both hearings will also be live streamed so that anyone with access to the web may participate.  Please visit the DHS website for links and instructions on the day of the hearing.


Please note: Due to the limited time to make revisions before submission of the concept plan, and extensive public comments received previously, the Department will not accept written or verbal testimony before or after the hearings.

In The 17th Senate District


Sen. Marklein attended the Old Settlers Meeting in Reedsburg on February 20, 2016. 

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Schwarzenbart.



Sen. Marklein and Peggy enjoyed the Church of God Pancake Supper in Reedsburg on March 3, 2016.

In The Capitol

Governor Walker signed AB595/SB440 on March 1st, a bill I worked on with Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville).  This bill makes several technical changes to current law regarding tax administration. Pictured left to right - Sen. Marklein, Kody Kvalheim, Governor Scott Walker, Rep. Todd Novak and Mike Wagner, legislative liaison with the Department of Revenue.


Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 687 on March 2nd. This bill provides a pathway for managed care organizations to continue providing long term services. Teri Buros from ContinuUS and representatives from AARP joined me for the signing. ContinuUs is a managed care organization within the 17th Senate District that serves numerous people within our community.


Sen. Marklein welcomed a group from Ithaca Elementary School on Friday, March 4, 2016.

Sen. Marklein (far left, middle row) wore his purple tie for the Bulldogs!

Useful Information

Wisconsin Monthly Housing Statistics

The Wisconsin Realtors Association released the following data related to housing in Wisconsin on February 22, 2016. To see more data related to these statistics, please visit their website.


Wisconsin Regional Report

Reflecting residential data through January 2016



Median Price





% Change



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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