Sen. Marklein: Statement on pay increases for Department of Corrections

CONTACT: Senator Howard Marklein, 608-266-0703

Madison, WI – Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement on the Joint Finance Committee’s (JFC’s) decision to increase pay at state prisons:

“All Correctional Officers, Youth Counselors and Psychiatric Care Technicians at prisons in Wisconsin will be getting approximately $2 more per hour starting January 2020 under the legislature’s budget. We will be boosting entry-level pay by $2, which will lead to starting pay of more than $19 per hour by the end of the biennium. These raises will be effective on January 1, 2020, rather than in May 2020 as proposed by the Governor.

We have also created a Long-term Service Award Program for all protective service positions in the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Health Services (DHS). We will be giving our staff one-time, lump sum awards at 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service.***

Overall, we have increased funding for the DOC by $162,599,000 in the next biennium. The majority of this investment is for people. We are investing in the staff who work very hard, under difficult circumstances, to serve our state. We are also investing in facilities and programs that are needed to provide services and supports for individuals who are incarcerated. We are working to provide better transitions and job training.

I am proud to be the co-author of this motion with my colleague Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam). Funding the DOC is a priority and our decisions today will have a true and lasting impact on the department and the hard-working people who serve in these difficult jobs.

Our work today is a fair, equitable approach. We did not pick winners and losers. We are supporting all of our staff in DOC and DHS facilities. Their service is worthy of our investment.”

*** The Long-term Service Award Program will be administered as follows. Beginning January 1, 2020, one-time lump sum awards (bonuses) would be provided $250 upon completion of 10 years of service, $500 upon completion of 15 years of service, $750 upon completion of 20 years of service and $1000 upon completion of 25 years of service and every five years thereafter.

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.

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