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!





Keeping Our Minds On the Road

Summer is a great time to travel all over the state of Wisconsin. Whether you are traveling to visit family, attend a festival, paddle our waters or camp with your family, many of us will take off in the family car to journey across the state.

Depending on your route, you may discover some rough roads in parts of our state, especially in the rural communities of the 17th Senate District. I want you to know that my mind is still on the condition of our roads and the funding needed to maintain our infrastructure. I understand, I share your frustrations and I hear you.

During the last budget cycle, I advocated for increasing transportation revenues and for finding a long-term solution to the transportation funding issues we face. Despite some recent announcements by the Department of Transportation (DOT), I believe that the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will have very thorough and thoughtful discussions about these issues next winter and I will continue to fight for a sustainable solution that enables our rural communities to have safe, efficient infrastructure. We need to do things differently. Borrowing is not the answer.

With that said, it is important to remember that there are a couple of new laws that were passed during the last legislative session that impact travel and transportation. As many of you know, the speed limit increased to 70 miles per hour on some roads. We also made it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone in a construction zone and now require all drivers to turn on their headlights during times of low visibility.

Speed Limit Increase to 70 mph - A year ago, the Department of Transportation (DOT) installed 470 new 70 mph speed limit signs on 726 miles of rural interstate after Act 19 was signed into law. The speed limit was increased on roads that do not have at-grade crossings, such as Interstate 90/94.

The Wisconsin State Patrol has observed that most drivers have conservatively increased their speeds in response to the change in limits. For example, a driver who drove 73 mph when the limit was 65 mph is now driving 76 mph. They are not increasing their speed by as large a margin. Most people have a certain level of comfort while driving and most people will not exceed the speed at which they are comfortable.

According to the DOT, the traffic fatality rate in Wisconsin, overall, has gone up this year, but it has not been on the roads where the speed limit increased. In fact, a quick analysis tells us that the increase in fatalities has occurred on rural roads and more accidents are involving motorcycles and bicycles than they have in the past.

Despite the change in speed limit on some roads, the mission of the State Patrol has remained the same; to enforce traffic laws that help to keep everyone safe on our roads. With the increase in speed, it is especially important to remember that the left lane is designed for passing, while the middle and right lanes are for driving.

It is also imperative that we respect the “Move Over” law. This law requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to provide a "safety zone" for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, utility vehicle, or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing. Violations of this law can result in a $263 citation. Observing these guidelines increases the safety and efficiency of all of our roadways.

Hand-held Cell Phones in Construction Zones - The legislature also passed a law this session to make it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in a construction zone. This law goes into effect in October 2016 and the fines range from $20-40 for first offenses and $50-100 for subsequent offenses within a year.

Start practicing safety now! Beginning in October, law enforcement will issue tickets for drivers seen talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving through a construction zone. But you don’t have to wait! If you avoid using your cell phone in construction zones or opt for hands-free operation now, you won’t have to change bad habits come October. And you will be giving our state’s construction crews a safer environment all summer.

Headlights in Inclement Weather - While many of our cars automatically turn-on our headlights at night, the law now states that we must turn our headlights on during times of limited visibility. Limited visibility means you can't see something 500-ft away, which is a little less than two high school football fields.

Law enforcement is currently issuing warnings for failure to turn-on headlights during inclement weather situations. Beginning October 1, 2016, they will be able to ticket motorists up to $160 for failure to comply with the law.

Since the law went into effect in March, the State Patrol has issued 1,695 headlight warnings during low visibility and nighttime hours. The Department has not itemized these warnings for times of low visibility yet, but the State Patrol, and other law enforcement, has always encouraged drivers to operate headlights to increase safety and visibility while driving in any sort of weather. Operating headlights during times of limited visibility and inclement weather is especially important to protect you and other drivers.

Headlights help you to see what is in front of you, but they also help other drivers to see you as you approach and as they approach you. Remember, when you do not have headlights on, your taillights are not on. Even if you have day-running lights, drivers approaching you from behind may not see you until they are right on top of you. It may be an extra step to turn on headlights when the weather is poor, but it could make a big difference for your safety and the safety of other drivers who share the road with you.

As you travel throughout the state this summer, keep these new laws in mind and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Again, my mind is on our roads too and I appreciate your input as I work on ways to improve the safety, efficiency and experience on all Wisconsin roads.

Continuing Our Recognition of Dairy Month


Throughout the month, I have been attending Dairy Breakfasts on the Farm all over the 17th Senate District. I have enjoyed all of the conversations, tours and experiences shared with me. These breakfasts, and other similar events, are a terrific way to connect with agriculture in our state.  I am always thrilled when a novice experiences something new and takes away a greater appreciation for the dairy industry that supports so many of our families.


In continuing recognition of Dairy Month, I wanted to share the following quote/sign by W.D. Hoard, founding editor of Hoard's Dairyman and Wisconsin's 16th Governor. I feel that this quote embodies the way that every farmer feels about his or her herd. Our animals are very important to us.  Hoard recommended posting this sign in every barn and it continues to be available for purchase in the Hoard's Dairyman store online.



In The 17th Senate District



I presented Jerry Baryenbruch with a proclamation in recognition of his 59 years of service to the Spring Green EMS and Fire Department.  Jerry started to volunteer for the Spring Green EMS in 1958, before the community had its own ambulance and EMS facility.  Jerry and his wife Mary Lou have owned and operated the Hometown Market in Spring Green for more than 50 years. Jerry responded to the call the night my dad died, like he has responded to so many other calls during his service to our community.




Sen. Marklein met with the Mound City Bank Personal Economics Program (PEP) committee to discuss financial literacy, local growth and agriculture in our local economy.


Pictured is Human Resources Officer Kari Geyer, Marketing Officer Barb Winkler, President/CEO Donna Hoppenjan, Senator Howard Marklein, VP- COO John Digman, VP- Retail Banking Nancy Salzmann & SVP- CLO Pete Mumm.





An airplane, piloted by Alaine Olthafer-Lange, cut the ribbon for the renovation of the terminal at the Platteville Municipal Airport this week.


Pictured is Barbara Daus (City Council representative on the Airport Commission), Bill Kloster (Airport Commission President), Alaine Olthafer-Lange, Sen. Marklein and Andy Lange. Alaine and Andy manage the Platteville airport, and own and operate A&A Aviation.


Useful Information

2014 Midwest States Incarceration Rates

During the most recent budget deliberations regarding funding for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, several legislators inquired about the incarceration rate in Wisconsin compared to other Midwestern states.  Following is the data collected by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).  This table also features data from the Federal Census Bureau to determine the total state populations for the same time period as the BJS data (July 1, 2014). 


Total Incarcerated

Incarceration Rate*

Total Probation or Parole

Probation or Parole Rate*

Total State Population

















































North Dakota












South Dakota












US Total






*The rates for each data set are per 100,000 US/state residents age 18 or older.


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