DECEMBER 2, 2019
By: Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green)
Member, Joint Committee on Finance
Chair, Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) recently awarded grants for Treatment and Diversion (TAD) programs in Lafayette County and Monroe County from funds that the legislature included in our state budget last spring to continue to fight addiction and further the Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) agenda we have been working on for several years.
The legislature’s recent budget provided an additional $2 million for TAD programs. As a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) I was proud to increase this funding to $14.4 million over the 2019-21 biennium because I believe in the effectiveness and approach of these programs. TAD programs offer alternatives to prosecution and incarceration for certain offenses. They do not reduce the penalties, but they give offenders a chance to change their lives for the better.
For example, a Drug Court offers a chance to avoid incarceration and a conviction record by attending weekly court appearances, treatment sessions and maintaining sobriety. These programs have had tremendous impacts throughout the state, but especially in rural communities.
We have a great opportunity in our small, rural communities to connect one-on-one with our neighbors who need help and support. TAD programs give people a second chance by focusing on personal connections, targeted resources and support to help them overcome negative influences and issues. These programs have proven to be an effective alternative to simply locking someone away for punishment. The personal, solution-based approaches of TAD programs give people tools to live differently and seek alternatives to the negative influences that led them down negative paths.
The long-term benefits and breadth of impacts are extremely positive. Individuals who work through TAD programs have a much lower tendency to reoffend. Their families, friends and, especially their children, benefit as well. Changing the trajectory of one life has serious ripple effects, especially in our small, close-knit communities.
In the most recent round of grant awards, Lafayette County was awarded $118,000 to create an Operating While Impaired (OWI) court. Monroe County was awarded $57,000 to hire a Mental Health provider for the county’s drug court program as well as their TAD-funded OWI treatment court program. The additional funding and resources for Lafayette and Monroe counties will further expand the impact of specialized counseling and treatment for our citizens. More of our neighbors will receive the help and support they need to improve their choices and remain contributing members of our communities.
During the state budget process, the JFC was deeply committed to expanding the legislature’s efforts to support TAD programs. The HOPE Agenda has made huge strides since we started in 2013. I am proud of all of our work. From TAD programming to drug disposal to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), we are attacking addiction and related problems from a lot of angles. I appreciate the leadership in all of the counties of the 17 th Senate District who share this mission.
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to . Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.
A study out from George Mason University found that the tax incentives provided to Chinese manufacturer Foxconn in an effort to lure the tech manufacturing giant to Wisconsin could end up hurting economic growth and activity in Wisconsin.

According to the study, Foxconn's current plans for a "Gen 6 LCD" manufacturing factory could cost somewhere between $1.25 billion to $5.96 billion in economic impact over the next decade and a half due to the loss of tax dollars for other purposes. Tax incentives were provided by both the state and local governments. The new Foxconn plan hires over 3,000 workers and invests $2.5 billion, putting the state on the hook for $1.1 billion.

Those numbers are in stark contrast to a study from the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce, a large business interest group, which said Wisconsin could see over $51 billion in economic stimulus should the project be completed as planned.
A bill that would have allowed for sex offenders to live within 1,500 feet of a school has been vetoed by Governor Tony Evers, the same bill that was vetoed by Governor Scott Walker last year.

According to one source, "the intention was to give counties more flexibility in where to place sexually violent people who are placed on supervised release." Proponents of the bill, particularly in larger urban settings, said more flexibility was needed because the 1,500 foot rule limited their options on where to place sex offenders.

Still, those intentions were not enough to convince the first term Governor in to signing the legislation. In Evers veto statement, he said he objected to weakening protections that keep violent offenders away from schools, and that one of the most vital roles of society is keeping children safe.
A new law signed by Governor Tony Evers last week will fully allow kids to run lemonade stands without a government license.

Under the new law, children under the age of 18 are now permitted to run a lemonade stand on private property without approval from the government. The annual sales must be less than $2,000. If a cup of lemonade costs a passerby 25 cents, that would come out to 8,000 cups. Under the law, kids are not allowed to sell any potentially hazardous foods, including meat or eggs.

The legislation was authored by Republican Senator Dale Kooyenga and Republican Representative Cody Horlacher.
Democrat lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing for a government mandate of baby changing tables in men's bathrooms across the state.

The bill would require changing tables in any new buildings or "substantially renovated" buildings in men's and unisex bathrooms in public buildings. That means if you own a businesses with a public bathroom, and you have plans to renovate in the near future, the law would apply. In a memo to fellow lawmakers, the bill's authors said "more dads than ever are also taking an actively involved role in caring for their young children on a day-to-day basis." Similar bills have been passed with bipartisan support in other states, including Arizona, Utah, California, Illinois, and New Mexico.

One of the three authors, all of whom are men, said "I am consistently struck by how few businesses have changing stations available for parents." He added, "What's even more notable is that, in a lot of cases, the businesses that do have diaper changing tables only have them in women's restrooms."
Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation say the latest figures on traffic fatalities in the state are down in the state so far in 2019.

Those figures from the WisDOT show that as of November 17th there were 495 traffic fatalities, compared to 531 deaths at the same time in 2018. The total number of fatal crashes were also down slightly at 463 as compared to 467 in 2018.

One state official credited drivers, saying that the drop in traffic-related fatalities appears to due to drivers taking safety more seriously, reduced distractions, more seat belt buckling, and more. According to one national group, more people are using their seat belts around the country.
A concerted effort by local, state, and federal Democrat elected officials to stop the federal government from housing its new F-35 jets at Truax Field in Madison has caused the state of Michigan to step up to the plate in response. In short: Wisconsin's loss is Michigan's gain.

A bipartisan group of Michigan's Congressional members sent a letter to the Air Force Secretary, Barbara Barrett, urging her to choose a Michigan National Guard Base as the new home for the jets.

"We are proud of the men and women serving in the Michigan National Guard," the letter says. "...we are now on a path to become the most advanced wings in the country."

Earlier this year, the Madison Mayor sent a letter to the Air Force asking them to reconsider housing the jets in Madison, saying that noise and other issues disproportionately impact poor and marginalized communities. She also noted that the jets might have an impact on public housing investments, water contamination and more. The Madison Council passed a resolution outlining its concerns with the project. Democrat state lawmakers have also come out opposed to the plan, as well as liberal Congressman Mark Pocan.
Governor Tony Evers has set up a new website to assist residents with the 2020 Census- WICount 2020.

Governor Evers' office says that the website will assist residents by providing guides to the Census, directions on how to participate, educational resources, and information on how to get involved with the count.

"For Wisconsin, this census will produce both a report card on where we're at and a road map to where we're going," Evers' statement says on the website. "Census results enable leaders at every level of our government to make better decisions, help bring billions of federal tax dollars back home to Wisconsin each year, and ensure our stat receives representation we deserve in Washington."

You can visit the site by going to
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After reading the guest column from former Lt. Governor Kleefisch, what are your thoughts?
Kleefisch is a hack.

Didn't bother to read it.

We desperately need skilled workers and wages due support just lacking apprentices

Trades are where the money will be in our future... without student loans.

Its finally being though that learning trades is a goond thing, not in past college was the only thing

It's about time the high schools start promoting the trades.

You know it's funny... We keep beating our kids into going to college... but yet, there are jobs in the trades that are under-staffed all over the state. In our area, you can hardly find an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC contractor... Even general carpenters are starting to become few and far between. We need to focus on these other trades more, for a while. We have enough STEM and college and "higher education." Oh, ok, the only thing we need more of are DOCTORS in RURAL AREAS.

WHAATT?? Trades are a viable alternative to college? Will someone please tell our educational administrators? Its about time we got away from the bad joke of higher education being the only path beyond high school...

Too many kids pushed into college.

Will she run for Governor?
What do you think of the work requirement for childless BadgerCare/Medicaid recipients?
If the person can work, then they should. However, some of these people lose their job because of a very poor work ethic. Politicians need to gert out in the real world and see what employers have to put up with.

What doesn't make sense about it?

I am tired of working so they are not required when unemployment is non existent

Childless...Cut it off. I don't think you should get it all.

I am getting tired of people getting benifits and not required to work

Anyone can find a job these days. Get off your butts!!!

No freeloaders!

Only if deemed able by doctors. It will be ugly, remember Tommy's work not welfare?

Why isn't that considered common sense?

everyone should pull their own weight
Do you get your deer tested for CWD?

Its a major waste of time and money!
Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 426 into law last week, which makes it a felony to trespass on or damage oil and gas pipelines. After reading the article...

Not enough information to make a decision.

freedom of speech does not entitle damage to private property

Why not they should pay for damages

Disagree with this, a hard line law for a grey area....

I can see both sides... the concern about trespassing but also the implications for free speech.

Safer and faster to move oil by pipe than by rail or truck.
Act 56 Medical Assistance Coverage  (Kooyenga) Coverage of services under Medical Assistance provided through telehealth and other technologies, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority.

Act 57 Health Care Provider Program  (Darling) Participation in the Volunteer Health Care Provider program by agencies serving homeless individuals.

Act 58 Loan Assistance  (Darling) Eligibility for physician, dentist, and health care provider educational loan assistance programs.

Act 59 Wetland Mitigation  (Wanggaard) Wetland mitigation banks, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.

Act 60 Temporary Stand Operation  (Kooyenga) Allowing minors to operate temporary stands without a permit or license.

Act 61 Investment Credit Allocation  (Marklein) Allocation of early stage seed investment credit to offset taxes imposed on insurers.

Act 62 Ag Loan Program  (Marklein) Agricultural development loan guarantee program administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Act 63 Transportation Facilities  (Petrowski) The transportation facilities economic assistance and development program.

Act 64 Ethanol Dispensing  (Feyen) Requirements for devices that dispense gasoline-ethanol fuel blends.

Act 65 POD Accounts  (Marklein) P.O.D. accounts and loan obligations to financial institutions; the duty of a bank to make payment on a lost, destroyed, or stolen cashier's check, teller's check, or certified check; providing temporary authority to act as a mortgage loan originator while a license application is pending; property subject to garnishment or tax levy in possession of a financial institution; entities that provide to financial institutions electronic data processing services; loans to state banks by a Federal Home Loan Bank; and consolidating the Banking Review Board and Savings Institutions Review Board in the Department of Financial Institutions

Act 66 Insurance Law Changes  (Craig) Various changes to insurance laws.

Act 67 Vehicle Manufacturers  (Marklein) Prohibited practices of motor vehicle manufacturers, importers, and distributors and providing a penalty.

Act 69 Hemp Regulation  (Testin) Regulating hemp, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

Act 69 Transportation Aids  (Petrowski) Supplemental transportation aids.
No bills to report.
Memo for LRB-4224 Room Taxes  (Kitchens) Expanding applicability of the room tax, making substantive and technical changes to the local room tax, and providing a penalty. 
Deadline: Monday, December 2

Memo for LRB-3469 Genetic Counselors  (Steffen) The regulation and licensure of genetic counselors, creating an genetic counselors affiliated credentialing board, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty. 
Deadline: Monday, December 2

Memo for LRB-4562 Diaper Changing Stations  (Brostoff) Requiring the installation and identification of diaper changing stations in public buildings and places of employment. 
Deadline: Friday, December 6

Memo for LRB-3232 Informed Consent  (Jacque) Requiring hospitals to have a policy requiring written and verbal informed consent before a medical student may perform a pelvic exam on a patient who is under general anesthesia or otherwise unconscious. 
Deadline: Monday, December 9

Memo for LRB-4224 Room Taxes  (Kitchens) Expanding applicability of the room tax, making substantive and technical changes to the local room tax, and providing a penalty.
Deadline: Monday, December 2

Memo for LRB-3470 Marriage Age  (Anderson) Age for marriage. 
Deadline: Thursday, December 12

Memo for LRB-3176 Smuggling into Prison  (Plumer) Smuggling items into or out of prisons by inmates and providing a penalty. 
Deadline: Friday, December 6

Memo for LRB-4892 Hydrologic Restoration  (Cowles) A general permit for hydrologic restoration projects and creating a hydrologic restoration and management advisory council. 
Deadline: Tuesday, December 10

Memo for LRB-4821 Golf Caddies  (Kooyenga) Minor golf caddies. 
Deadline: Friday, December 6