Senator Howard Marklein of the 17th Senate District was recently awarded the 2021-22 Friend of the Towns Award at the Juneau County Unit Meeting of the WTA for his efforts supporting town government.

“Senator Marklein’s extraordinary leadership as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance was instrumental in producing the best state budget for towns in a generation and possibly ever,” said Mike Koles, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Towns Association. “No less than ten initiatives were included that directly and positively affected town government and citizens.”

The state budget included a repeat of the signature Local Road Improvement Supplemental program that was orchestrated by Senator Marklein in the previous budget. Almost $75 million has been provided for town infrastructure through this program during the last two state budgets. Furthermore, investments in EMS through the Funding Assistance Program, Medicaid reimbursement, and the Service Award Program will help ensure that ambulance services are supported throughout the badger state.

Friends of town government share a core belief that the best decisions occur in a decentralized system and closest to the people. They understand that local government leadership is the fuel for entrepreneurial solutions to public sector challenges and the key to unlocking the power of democracy.

WTA President Jerry Derr commented, “Senator Marklein is extremely connected to town government and rarely misses a county unit meeting. He is extraordinarily accessible and always willing to learn about how he can help towns overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities. This manifested itself in the budget when he responded to town officials’ calls to remedy several general transportation aids problems, including one that penalized towns who were impacted by natural disasters. Towns no longer have to worry about losing road funding just because a bad storm came through their community.”

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