Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement on the Joint Finance Committee’s (JFC’s) actions to support agriculture, natural resources and capital investments.

 

“I am proud of the JFC’s investments in agriculture, natural resources and capital investments in the legislature’s version of the state budget.

 

The JFC funded the Dairy Innovation Hub – the Dairy Task Force 2.0’s top priority. I am proud to be the author of the legislation with my colleague Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City). Our persistence got it done. We are being responsive to dairy farmers as we allocate $8.8 million for development of the Dairy Innovation Hub at UW Madison, UW Platteville and UW River Falls.

 

We also invested $678,900 for positions at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for supporting the future of Industrial Hemp farming and we created four positions to support the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) program. Farmers told us that they needed more support for these areas to relieve backlogs, protect the environment and encourage growth in a new industry.

 

I have heard from dozens of constituents who asked me to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program because Governor Tony Evers did not do that in his budget. We voted to continue this popular land acquisition and improvement program for the next two years.

 

The Elroy-Sparta and 400 State Trails near the City of Elroy and the Villages of LaValle and Union Center were also highlighted in our decision to provide $100,000 for State Trail Repairs. We are also requiring the DNR to make repairs this summer. Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) championed this part of our budget work. Thanks Rep. Kurtz!

 

Finally, the JFC’s capital budget takes care of existing buildings and properties throughout the state. In the 17th Senate District, we are investing $1 million in the Campground Shower Building at Yellowstone State Park in Lafayette County.”

 

Marklein represents the 17th Senate District, which includes all or parts Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties. Marklein serves on the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee and is Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions.