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!





Committee Work Ethic

The Wheeler Report, a legislative news service that covers the Wisconsin legislature, recently released a summary of committee hearings and executive sessions for the 2015-16 Legislative Session. Committees do much of the heavy-lifting in the legislature and are an extremely important part of the legislative process.

Legislators are assigned to committees by their party’s leadership. Each committee has a specific number of majority party members and minority party members, depending on whether it is a joint, Senate or Assembly committee.

Party leadership assigns legislators to committees based on their areas of expertise and interest. Long-time legislators often serve on the same committees throughout their career as they gain expertise and knowledge about specific issues and laws. As I’ve discussed before, we all work in our wheelhouse.

Committees hold public hearings to seek public input on legislative proposals. Every bill must be given a public hearing. Experts, citizens and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback and input on specific bills that are referred to a committee. It is also the opportunity for legislators to ask questions. Most often, these hearings are held at the State Capitol, but we also plan hearings in other parts of the state for some bills. For example, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), which works on the state budget, always plans a series of hearings throughout the state to gather input.

Once a hearing is held, the committee is able to hold an executive session to formally vote on the proposal. If a majority of the committee votes in favor of the proposal, it is available to be scheduled for consideration by the full legislature.

Committees are where issues are discussed, ideas are considered and input is collected. Once a bill works through the committee process, it has been well-digested by the legislature.

Among the Joint, Senate and Assembly committees, there are 63 individual committees with a specific purpose. As of this week, these 63 committees held 883 meetings during the 2015-16 session. There were many more public hearings than executive sessions with 491 hearings and 392 executive sessions across the legislature.

The Senate has 17 committees that held 39 public hearings and 39 executive sessions. The Assembly has 36 committees that held 272 public hearings and 173 executive sessions. There are 10 Joint committees, that include both Assembly and Senate members. These committees, including the budget-writing JFC held 37 public hearings and 52 executive sessions. The JFC is continuing to meet this summer and into the fall on several specific issues such as long term care and other budget-related items.

I currently serve on five of these committees, as well as two boards and two commissions that are not included in this count. I am currently the Chair of the Senate Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues committee. This committee held 14 public hearings and 13 executive sessions.

I am also appointed to the JFC, the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems, the Senate Labor and Government Reform committee, and the Senate Transportation and Veterans Affairs committee. I also serve on the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform, the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority board (WHEDA) and the Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway commission.

The five legislative committees on which I serve held a total of 112 meetings between hearings and executive sessions these past two years. I am proud to report that I was present for all 112 of these meetings.

As your State Senator, committee attendance is an important part of my job. While I spend considerable time in study, analysis, preparation and meetings about most of the issues we discuss during committee; connecting with my colleagues and listening to testimony at committee meetings is an essential part of the legislative process.

All committee membership is assigned on a session by session basis. As a result, my committee assignments may change in January 2017. However, it is my hope to continue to serve on committees where I may add value and expertise to the conversation. I look forward to continuing this important part of my role as your State Senator.

Public meeting set for Wisconsin River Bridge project along WIS 130 to Lone Rock, in Richland, Sauk & Iowa Counties

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced a public involvement meeting to provide information on the Location Study Report and to obtain input that will assist the department in development and refinement alternatives for the Wisconsin River Bridge project along WIS 130 to Lone Rock, in Richland, Sauk and Iowa counties.

The meeting will take place at the Lone Rock Community Hall, 214 N Broadway Street, Lone Rock on Wednesday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m.  The meeting will follow an informal open house format with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.

The WIS 130 crossing consists of three bridges that were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s and are nearing the end of their service life. The project is to determine the appropriate location and structure type for the WIS 130 Wisconsin River Crossing.

The proposed bridge maintenance on WIS 130 over the Wisconsin River will also be discussed. The proposed rehabilitation of the second of three bridges over the Wisconsin River is focused on interim structural repairs such as cleaning and painting the exposed steel to maintain the existing bridge.

You are encouraged to attend the meeting, provide input and ask questions concerning this project. WisDOT representatives will be available to gather input and discuss the project on an individual basis.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, or would like more information, contact Francis Schelfhout, the WisDOT project manager at the WisDOT Southwest Region, 608-785-9947, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road, LaCrosse, WI 54601 or email francis.schelfhout@dot.wi.gov.

Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project Open House

American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative are proposing a high-voltage transmission line connecting northeast Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin that would provide economic savings, support renewable energy policy and improve electric system reliability.  A study area from Dubuque County, Iowa, to Dane County, Wisconsin has been identified for the approximately 125-mile, 345-kilovolt line.  For more details on the project, please click here to open a brief prepared by ATC, ITC and Dairyland Power Co-op.

As a part of the project, ATC, ITC and Dairlyand Power Co-op are hosting Open Houses for residents to learn more about the project.  The open house schedule follows:

Monday, May 16, 4-7 p.m.
Peosta Community Center
7896 Burds Road, Peosta, IA 52068

Tuesday, May 17, 4-7 p.m.
Pioneer Lanes
1185 US (Business) 151, Platteville, WI 53818

Wednesday, May 18, 4-7 p.m.
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive, Barneveld, WI 53507

Thursday, May 19, 4-7 p.m.
Deer Valley Lodge
401 West Industrial Drive, Barneveld, WI 53507


In The 17th Senate District




Senator Marklein attended Ag Day on the University of Wisconsin Platteville campus on Thursday, April 21st.


Ag Day is hosted by the Collegiate Farm Bureau to educate their fellow students and the greater Platteville community about agriculture in Wisconsin.


The Collegiate Farm Bureau (pictured above) provided sheep shearing demonstrations, displayed farm equipment, offered exhibits and sold walking tacos for lunch.


Photo, right - Sen. Marklein with Michael Compton, UW Platteville School of Agriculture Director, Department Chair and Professor of Ornamental Horticulture.












Sen. Marklein and Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) judged the Grilled Cheese Championship in Dodgeville on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Throughout the competition, the judges enjoyed approximately 60 different grilled cheese recipes. It was a delicious and interesting day!  Photo courtesy of the Dodgeville Chronicle.













Senator Marklein partnered with AT&T and Wisconsin Emergency Management to teach 5th Graders at Necedah Elementary School about emergency planning and preparedness as a part of Wisconsin Emergency Management's STEP program.


STEP is designed to teach students how to prepare for various emergencies including tornadoes, flooding and storms and encourages them to share the information with their families and to develop their own family emergency plan. Along with the knowledge, each student was given a starter emergency kit donated by AT&T.





In The Capitol


Students from Riverdale Schools visited the State Capitol on Monday, April 25, 2016.


Holy Rosary School from Darlington visited the State Capitol on Thursday, April 28, 2016.















New Lisbon Elementary School visited the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 26th.  Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) was in the Capitol and met with classes.




















Pineview Elementary School also visited on Tuesday, April 26th.  Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) was in the Capitol and met with classes.


Useful Information

General Fund Revenue

General fund revenue funds the majority of the programs in the general fund (K-12 schools; UW System; municipal aid payments; corrections, etc.) The largest components of revenue for the general fund are income and sales tax. The following tables demonstrate State of Wisconsin's general fund revenue collections since 1994-95. In 2014-15, the last year available, the state took in an all-time high $14.5 billion.


General Fund Revenue Collections


Fiscal Year

General Fund Collections (Millions)


$ 7,806.9











































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