MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers is calling on the Wisconsin State Legislature to provide more resources to local communities and remove restrictions on local control in legislation regarding shared revenue that was introduced earlier this week. Gov. Evers today released a statement responding to the proposal, AB 245, indicating he cannot support the proposal and will veto it in its entirety if it is sent to his desk in its current form. Despite having been introduced only two days ago, Assembly Republicans are hosting a public hearing on the bill in the Committee on Local Government later this morning. 

 

According to data from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), since 2011, state aid to communities has been cut by more than nine percent while public safety costs have increased by more than 16 percent. As a result, over the last decade, local communities have been asked to do more with less and have been forced to make difficult decisions to cut critical services, including public safety. Gov. Evers has been clear for four years now that the state must do its part to ensure communities have the resources they need to meet basic and unique needs alike. 

 

A full transcript of the governor’s statement is available below. The statement is also available on YouTube here

You know, we’ve been talking about shared revenue now for the five, four-plus years I’ve been in this position—and for good reason.   

Our communities—whether it’s a county, whether it’s a city, whether it’s a township—they do the hard work, public safety, public health—you name it—public libraries.   

And for a decade, we have not increased any of that money that goes to these folks in any meaningful way.

We need more money for our communities—their constituents expect it, and we expect them to do this work. So, it’s a top priority for me—and has been since I became governor. 

And I’m really optimistic because I see that same thinking coming out of the Legislature. So, we’re all on the same page there.  

But the state must step up more than what I’ve seen. It’s why I can’t support the Republican plan as is—and frankly, I’ll veto it in its entirety.  

It is not enough resources. We have the resources to do it. Let’s increase the money that’s going to the locals. And, frankly, also, let’s remove all those restrictions that the legislation was putting on those local folks.   

Here we, in one way, we want to bring them more money, and in another way, we want to take more control away from them. It doesn’t make sense.  

Send me a clean bill that talks about the money that we are going to give to the municipalities.

Let’s work together to make it happen, and I know we can get it done. 

In response, Representative Robin Vos and Senator LeMahieu sent out this press release:

MADISON, Wis. – Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) released the following statement:

“After several weeks of meetings and negotiations with all parties involved – Democrats, Republicans, towns, villages, cities and counties – we reached a shared revenue proposal we believe the public will support.”

“It’s very disappointing to come so close to the finish line only to have the Governor publicly issue veto threats because he wants to spend more money.

“The most pressing issue here is the bankruptcy Milwaukee will face if this bill does not pass. This is a disappointing move by Governor Evers. He should reconsider and work with us before the bill is brought to the floor of the Assembly.”

  An online version of this release is available here.

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Steve Hanson
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Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Association, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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