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Candidate Profile: Howard Marklein
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Howard Marklein

Age: 60

City/town of residence: Spring Green

Family: Wife Peggy, five adult children, three grandchildren

Education: Graduated River Valley High School (1972), UW-Whitewater, 1976, BBA Accounting

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant (CPA); Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE); State Representative (District 51)

Previous elected positions held: State Representative, Assembly District 51 (current)

What are the top issues facing this district/board/office and how would you work to resolve them?

I believe there are three major issues facing the residents of this area. First, job creation and economic development, second, declining enrollment in our rural school districts, and property taxes.

In order to create jobs, we need to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, make capital available to businesses that want to create jobs in Wisconsin, and invest in worker training to ensure those looking for work are prepared for success. As the chairman of the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, I worked with small businesses to identify flaws and burdensome regulations in state statute and administrative code. I intend to continue sponsoring and authoring legislation that removes these undue burdens on our job creators. During my time in the assembly, I supported millions in additional funding for worker training at our vocational and tech schools. I intend to continue to invest in worker training that creates immediate job placement for its participants.

Declining enrollment in our school districts can be remedied with more good-paying jobs, which draws families into our communities and expands our tax base. I am a strong believer that in order to remedy the funding issues facing our rural schools, we first have to take a look at trends and patterns in enrollment. Rural areas are faced with a problem of declining enrollment. In order to halt the pattern of declining enrollment, we need to increase the number of living wage jobs available to residents in our communities. We also need to ensure that individual school districts working together to decrease the amount of overhead in administration to allow for more dollars in the classroom.

Finally, holding the line on property and income taxes is something for which I am proud to support. During my time in the assembly, I supported a property tax freeze and returning millions of tax dollars back to taxpayers in my district and across Wisconsin.

What are other key issues facing the district/board/office, and how would you work to resolve them?

My constituents want their government to be open and honest about how it uses our tax dollars. In the immediate future, I would like to re-introduce legislation that I authored in the past that would require the state to abide by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for its budgeting. Currently, the state is not required to use GAAP in its budgeting. The state should have to balance its budget the way families do in our communities - with real dollars and numbers.

The rising cost of higher education is having a profound impact on our communities. I would also like to re-visit the budgetary practices of the UW System. My CPA colleagues and I were the ones to discover a $1 billion surplus in the UW System. This resulted in a two-year tuition freeze to make higher education more affordable for families.

This past year, I worked on legislation with Representative Janis Ringhand that would allow Green County to conduct a referendum on behalf of Pleasant View Nursing Home in Monroe. Because of the way the old law was written, Green County would have been unable to conduct a referendum in a timely manner. I want to ensure that in the future, any legislation we pass or administrative code we approve does not create an undue burden on our local communities, especially on our most vulnerable citizens.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am the best candidate for this office. I have deep roots in Southwest Wisconsin. I grew up on a dairy farm in Spring Green and attended River Valley High School. I currently live in Spring Green with my wife. In my job as a CPA, I created jobs in my firm. I know what it is like to sign a paycheck and the challenges that the private sector faces every day. When I was elected to represent Monroe and Green County in the State Assembly, I worked to improve the job situation and with legislators from both parties to solve problems in our communities. I worked with community leaders to ensure that the local wastewater treatment plant received proper grants and that the county was able to conduct a referendum to keep the doors open at Pleasant View nursing home. Agriculture remains the largest segment of our economy. I grew up on a farm, live on a farm, and understand the issues that our farmers face. The people of Monroe and Green County deserve a tried and tested individual genuinely committed to representing them in the State Senate.