Howard Marklein

close up of lawnmower showing long and short grass

Any volunteers to mow Sen. Erpenbach’s lawn?

BY: - June 25, 2021

The state Senate voted to declare the past week of June 22 – 26   “Lawnmower Safety Week” throughout the state of Wisconsin. While the joint resolution at first sounds unusual, the purpose of the week is “to raise awareness about the need “for increased education on how to be safe around lawnmowers and help avoid […]

photo of three leaves from a marijuana pot plant an a vial of oil

Marijuana — and Democrats’ ability to even talk about it — voted down

BY: - June 7, 2021

Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) offered Republicans on the budget committee what he described as a compromise on cannabis on Wednesday. But before he could even utter the word “marijuana,” Sen. Howard Marklein, the Joint Finance Committee co-chair, interrupted him to ask the Fiscal Bureau staff if any of what was in the Democratic motion was […]

shell game

Republicans’ school budget shell game

BY: - June 3, 2021

The proposed state budget for schools passed by the Legislature’s budget committee is so stingy, the federal government is seriously considering withdrawing $1.5 billion from our state because we don’t make an adequate investment in our own kids.  But you’d never know that from the press releases put out by GOP budget committee members, crowing […]

Mendota Mental Health Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center Annex from outside

Bipartisan support moves Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center expansion forward

BY: - May 7, 2021

Before embarking on the contentious biennial budget Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) first unanimously approved the building of a 50-bed expansion at the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center.  “It’s a starting point in the closure of Lincoln Hills, and I think it is a great step towards reforming our juvenile justice system,” said co-chair Sen. […]

Very tight close up on the eye on a one dollar US bill

Republicans to cut popular Evers’ budget plan, leaving behind a $3.4 billion hole

BY: - May 6, 2021

Republicans on the state’s powerful budget committee — the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) — are kicking off their work on Wisconsin’s biennial 2021-23 budget by tossing hundreds of items proposed by Gov. Tony Evers in his budget into the trash. The text of the motion, recently released by JFC co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) […]

Looking up at the Capitol dome from far below right before the entrance door

GOP leaders to Evers: We’re spiking your budget, but come talk with us

BY: - May 4, 2021

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) finds it ironic that Republican legislative leaders sent Gov. Tony Evers a letter on Monday inviting him to meet with them to “share your plans for the federal funding as soon as possible.” One year ago, a group of 43 GOP Wisconsin legislators sent Wisconsin members of Congress a […]

Map of the four Joint Finance Committee hearings on the 2021-2023 budget

Heading into Wednesday’s final budget hearing, testimony favors Gov. Evers’ budget 284 to 30

BY: - April 28, 2021

Thinking back on the three in-person budget public hearings the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has held in this month, Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) says the most frequent testimony she recalls hearing was widespread support for public education. “I believe the most comments were on the topic of public education — childcare, K-12, higher ed, […]

Democratic donkey and Republican elephant butting heads.

The GOP budget brain versus the Democratic budget brain 

BY: - April 12, 2021

The process of creating a state budget to fund the next two years is underway with a supposed July 1 deadline in state law. It’s often said that budgets are moral documents that lay bare the priorities of the parties crafting them. In Wisconsin, it’s not as simple as Republicans wanting to cut taxes and […]

Joint Finance co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Mark Born in front of microphones at news conference

Republicans again push their stimulus plan that Evers already vetoed

BY: and - April 7, 2021

The federal government is shipping $3.2 billion in stimulus money to Wisconsin and Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature have dueling visions on how to spend it and who should control the purse strings.  The Republican Legislature began hearings Tuesday on a series of bills, introduced late Friday, that are made up of pieces […]

Groundhog looking straight at the camera, mouth open Groundhog Day

JFC chairs send Evers a snarky Groundhog Day greeting and budget warning

BY: - February 2, 2021

The new co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) sent Gov. Tony Evers a snarky Groundhog Day letter spelling out how they want him to create his 2021-23 budget, which he sends to the Legislature this month. In the last biennial budget process, the Legislature rejected the governor’s document and crafted its own, which Evers […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

How a fast-tracked bill got stopped in its tracks

BY: - February 25, 2020

A fast-tracked bill that would have given farm groups a virtual veto power over changes to a Wisconsin rule governing large livestock farms has run aground over a one-word change. The bill, AB-894 in the Assembly and SB-808 in the Senate, was introduced on Feb. 10 and the subject of a joint Assembly-Senate public hearing […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

Livestock bill ‘streamlines’ permitting process

BY: - February 14, 2020

Legislation that would make a sweeping change to the process for municipalities to weigh in on large livestock operations ran into resistance Thursday as lawmakers conducted a public hearing on the measure. Advocates for AB-894 in the Assembly and SB-808 in the Senate — the result of collaboration between some farm lobbying groups and the […]