Howard Marklein

Howard Marklein

Four bills I authored recently passed the State Senate. The majority of these proposals were developed from ideas shared by constituents of the 17th Senate District over the last year.

I often say that the best ideas come from those who are living and working in our communities. Each of these bills solves a problem or improves state law for those it will impact. I am honored and proud to represent innovative and engaged constituents who are willing to share their ideas and do the work to support these bills. They each contributed to the process, testified for the legislation and continue to see it through.

EMS License Plates, SB 360—Brent Brown, a volunteer Firefighter and first responder from Boscobel asked me to author legislation to waive the $15 specialty license plate fee for Emergency Medical Services-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.

I am proud to support the men and women who are usually the first to respond when we call for help. This bill passed unanimously with bi-partisan support.

Children Working in a Family-Owned Business, SB 420 – Curtis and Vicki Eberle own the Mixing Bowl Bakery in Sauk City. Their children used to help with small tasks at their family-owned business until a customer filed a complaint. The kids can’t help in the bakery anymore.

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.

This bill maintains all of the laws related to hazardous and inappropriate working conditions and all businesses are still required to meet the requirements of their licensing. For example, the children would still be prohibited from using the bread slicer and industrial mixer, but they would be able to clear dishes and put cupcake liners into pans as long as they are following the licensing standards for their bakery.

I can’t think of a better way for kids to learn valuable skills and a strong work ethic. We should be encouraging children to work alongside their parents. This is common sense to me and my colleagues, many of whom grew up working in their own family businesses, agree. The bill received bi-partisan support and passed the Senate. Follow this link for more information.

ATV/UTV routes in municipalities, SB 392 – Darlington Police Chief Jason King asked me to author legislation to allow a municipality to decide whether an ATV/UTV route may include a small stretch of road within their boundaries that is also a state highway. This would only be allowed on roads with speed limits under 35 mph, and a city would be required to pass an ordinance to include it.

In Darlington, a small section of Galena Street is also Hwy. 23. Current law prohibits ATV/UTV’s from using this small section of road because it is a state highway. This creates an obstacle that effectively isolates neighborhoods from legally accessing the city-wide ATV route.

I agree with chief King. Our local leaders are trusted to make decisions about these issues and can assess whether a small section of state highway within their municipal boundaries may be safely traveled on an ATV/UTV. This bill passed the Senate with bi-partisan support. Follow this link for more information.

Enhanced nurse licensure compact, SB 417 – I authored this legislation on behalf of 540 nurses in southwest Wisconsin and 112,257 nurses statewide who currently enjoy the benefits of a multi-state compact nursing license. The current nurse licensure compact will expire in January. Wisconsin must take action to join the new, enhanced nurse licensure compact to insure that nurses in our state, and other compact states, continue to receive the benefits of this license.

A compact license gives nurses the opportunity to be licensed in Wisconsin, as well as the 25 additional states that are part of the compact. Nurses in Wisconsin are automatically able to work in these other states. This is especially important in the 17th Senate District, where nurses cross the border to work in Iowa, and our hospitals hire workers from Iowa to fill positions.

SB 360, SB 420, SB 392 and SB 417 passed the Senate Oct. 31. These bills now move to the Assembly for consideration, and I anticipate successfully passing all of these proposals into law before the end of the session. Thanks to all of the hard-working citizens who have taken an active role in the legislative process.

For more information and to connect with me, visit my website 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.

Republican Howard Marklein, Spring Green, represents the 17th state Senate District.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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