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Capitol Update
By Senator Howard Marklein
March 9, 2018
Marklein Legislation On the Move

The State Senate is planning to hold our final floor session in mid-March before we gavel out for 2018. I am proud to report that seven of my bills are currently awaiting Governor Scott Walker’s signature. Another seven bills are ready for the March floor session and I am working on three more that are nearly ready.
It has been a very good session for the residents of the 17th Senate District! Most of the legislation I have successfully moved through the legislative process has been initiated by residents whom I serve. The following is a summary of the bills awaiting Governor Walker’s signature and the legislation that I expect to vote on later this month. 
Marklein Bills Awaiting Governor Walker’s Signature
Senate Bill (SB) 690 / Assembly Bill (AB) 835 – Sparsity Aid Funding & Low-Revenue School Districts - increases sparsity aid from $300 to $400 per pupil for the 2018-19 school year, an estimated $6 million boost for small, rural schools. In addition, this proposal also increases the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-19 school year, with the low revenue ceiling rising by $100 per year thereafter up to $9,800 by the 2022-23 school year. School districts who have had a failed referendum within the last three years would be ineligible for the low revenue ceiling increase, unless voters approve it.
SB 420/AB504 - Child Work Permit - Curtis and Vicki Eberle own the Mixing Bowl Bakery in Sauk City. Their children helped with small tasks at their family-owned business until a customer filed a complaint. SB 420 would allow minors of any age to pitch in and help their parent’s business while keeping necessary safeguards in place. Similar exemptions already exist in the agriculture industry and federal law.
SB 360/AB443 - EMT License Plates - Brent Brown, a volunteer Firefighter and First Responder from Boscobel asked Sen. Marklein to author legislation to waive the $15 specialty license plate fee for Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-related license plates. Many first responders choose these license plates for their personal vehicles to help identify them when they respond to a scene. These plates are only given to active volunteers and must be surrendered when the volunteer retires from service. SB 360 waives the specialty license plate fee in thanks to the heroes in our community.
SB650/AB 795 – Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission (WIMRPC) Technical Committee - statutorily adds representation from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to the Technical Committee of the commission. Tourism and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are already members of this committee.
SB604/AB718 – Federal Tax Information Fingerprinting - requires fingerprinting and enhanced background checks for state and local employees who have access to citizen’s Federal Tax Information (FTI).                                                                                    
SB599/AB698 – Agricultural Producer Security - provides exemptions for those who purchase less than $15,000 of processing vegetables; allows milk producers to defer payment for milk; combines required fund balance thresholds for grain dealers and warehouses; and strengthens DATCPs legal position in reimbursement and bankruptcy proceedings for defaults paid from the Producer Security Trust Fund.
SB765/AB716 - Municipal Welcome Signs – designates municipal welcome signs as official signs rather than traffic control devices. This bill allows the installation of a municipal welcome sign in the right-of-way of a state highway on property that is within the municipal boundaries of that municipality. This bill was written at the request of the City of Mauston to install a Welcome Sign in the right-of-way on State Highway 82.
Marklein Bills Ready for the Senate Floor
SB659/AB356 - EMT Licensing Renewal – extends the length of the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license to three years, from the current two year license.
AJR 100 – Whitespace – encourages the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to maintain open whitespace on the cable TV spectrum for potential rural broadband applications.
SB137/AB187 - Barn Bill – makes it easier for historic barns to be used as wedding venues by creating an exemption from building code requirements for buildings historically used for farming (barns) that were built before 1965 and that are used principally for wedding receptions and similar social events.
SB756/AB917 - Telecommuter Forward! – creates a community certification program for communities with good broadband capability to promote themselves as great places for telecommuters to live and/or to companies with telecommuting job opportunities for recruitment of workers.
SB686/AB822 - Financial Institution Modernization – makes several technical changes to statutes to update laws related to financial institutions, including several alignments with Federal laws.
SB203/AB259 Amended – Taxpayer Fairness + State/Federal Tax Reform Alignment – makes changes to state tax laws to provide taxpayer opportunities for contesting decisions made by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR).  This bill was also amended to simplify compliance for taxpayers by aligning some state tax laws with Federal laws in response to Federal Tax Reforms that were recently enacted.
SB684/AB766 – Sports Medical Reciprocity – exempts sports physicians licensed in other states from Wisconsin licensing requirements when they are temporarily practicing medicine at certain sporting events and facilities while they are accompanying their team employer.
Marklein Bills to be heard in the Senate before going to the Senate Floor
SB577/AB676 - Protective Status – classifies county jailers as protective occupation participants under the Wisconsin Retirement System and duty disability program. State jailers already receive these benefits.
SB783/AB897 - Foreign Corporations – eliminates additional fees for certificate of authority for Wisconsin-headquartered foreign corporations that are a qualified new business venture.
SB804/AB942 - Physical Therapist Licensure Compact – enables Wisconsin to be a member of the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, allowing PTs to hold one license for multiple states.
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein  and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov. Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.