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!





Corn: The Original Economic Indicator


If the height of corn were our only economic indicator, our financial future would look very bright this year. As I drove through the 17th Senate District this past weekend, the phrase “knee-high by the 4th of July” reverberated through my mind. I hopped out of my truck and stood next to a plot on my property to measure and I can report that the corn is already over my head; significantly past it’s 4th of July milestone.

This colloquial Wisconsin saying is something we all think about this time of year as we consider the status of agriculture in our communities. If it were the only economic indicator for the agricultural economy, we would be very optimistic. Unfortunately, there are other factors in play that we must consider.

While the weather has been perfect so far this year and the height of corn everywhere shows us that we’re more than on track for good production, we have a long way to go before our crops are in the bin. We continue to be at the mercy of temperatures, storms and rainfall as well as the speculation of the commodities market.

The commodities market is volatile and can be impacted by many different factors. One of the largest factors is supply that outweighs demand if crop yields overwhelm the market. It’s not just local or even domestic demand that impacts commodities, its demand from all over the world. When production is strong in other parts of the globe, our markets are impacted. When demand changes, for a wide variety of reasons, our markets are impacted. Unlike manufacturing, a soft commodity, such as corn or soybeans are impossible to manage on a supply-and-demand basis. Once the crops are in the field, they become supply.

The market can also be impacted by the strength of the dollar, which moves based on politics, trading and other seemingly unrelated global issues. The most recent decision by the United Kingdom to exit the European Union will impact commodities. We just don’t know how and to what extent at this time.

In addition, commodity prices often adjust based on long-range weather issues such as droughts or significant storms that could damage crops.

Farming is risky business that is at the mercy of nature, consumers and forces beyond an individual person’s control. A farmer I know was once asked if he wanted to join a poker game and his reply was, “I don’t need to join the game to gamble, I’m a farmer.”

The farmers in our communities are working hard to grow their crops and animals this summer and are hopeful that prices will insure a good year, financially, for their businesses. Whether we work in the fields and barns, or not, the success of local agriculture means something to every one of us.

The successes and failures of the agricultural industry have a direct impact on the rural, main street economy. When farm economies are strong, farmers spend money. When farm economies struggle, farmers pull back and conserve. These responses directly impact our local grocery stores, farm equipment dealers, restaurants and small businesses.

As we drive through the 17th Senate District and measure the height of the corn, soy beans and wheat, let us also remember all of the risk and faith each of our farmers employ every single day of this growing season. Thanks farmers!

Senator Howard Marklein Joined Governor Scott Walker to Launch
Broadband Forward! Community Certification
to Help Rural Communities Prepare for Broadband Investment

Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) joined Governor Scott Walker to officially launch Broadband Forward! at Vernon Communications Coop in Viroqua, WI on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Broadband Forward! is a community certification program to give rural communities tools to prepare to seek, receive and invest in broadband technology.

“Broadband investment is a shared responsibility,” Marklein said. “Communities must prepare, plan and collaborate with telecommunications companies to bring technology to rural parts of our state. Broadband Forward! gives our communities tools to navigate these relationships.”

Sen. Marklein co-authored Broadband Forward!, or Assembly Bill (AB) 820, with Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake). AB 820 became Act 278 on March 26, 2016. This law creates a process by which the Public Service Commission (PSC) may certify municipalities, counties, etc. as Broadband Forward! communities. This certification includes adoption of a model ordinance and process for the application, approval and issuance of broadband network-related permits, creating a collaborative regulatory environment for communities to work with telecommunications companies.

“Broadband Forward! gives our communities a place to start,” Marklein said. “Many communities know that they need to do something, but many do not know how to begin the process. Broadband Forward! Certification helps our communities take the necessary steps to be ready for investment in broadband infrastructure and begins the conversations that will bring technology to rural parts of our state.”

Sen. Marklein joined Governor Walker, PSC Commissioner Mike Huebsch, State Broadband Director Angie Dickison and Rod Olson, CEO, Vernon Communications Coop for the launch of the certification program.

For more information on AB 820/Act 278 - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/ab820

In The 17th Senate District

Sen. Marklein enjoyed a brat and conversation at the Reedsburg Brat Bash & Dash at the IGA.



Sen. Marklein visited Rockwell Automation in Richland Center for a tour of this major employer in our community.  Thanks to Plant Manager, Eric Klang, for the tour and introductions.

Useful Information

2016-17 General School Aid Estimates

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released its estimate of state general aid for the 2016-2017 school year. The distribution of the $4.584 billion in aid to local school districts is based primarily on three variables: enrollment, cost per pupil, and property value. As each of these variables fluctuate relative to the rest of Wisconsin, the state aid also fluctuates. The following is a comparison of the 2016-17 state general aid compared to the prior year for each of the school districts in the 17th Senate District:

2016-17 State General Aid Estimates - School Districts of the 17th Senate District


School District

July 1
General Aid

October 15
General Aid

Dollar Change

Percent Change






Belmont Community










Black Hawk





Boscobel Area










Cuba City





Darlington Community










Fennimore Community

























Lancaster Community










Mineral Point Unified










Necedah Area





New Lisbon





Pecatonica Area

























River Ridge





River Valley




















Southwestern Wisconsin










Wonewoc-Union Center





17th Senate District Total





Statewide Total






*Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction


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.

Please Note: If you have contacted the Senator with specific input or questions, a personal response is forthcoming, if need be.

UNSUBSCRIBE: If you would like to remove your e-mail address from the E-update mailing list, please reply to this message with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

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