MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on its shared revenue bill Wednesday, only two weeks after it was introduced.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who said two weeks ago he would veto the bill as-is, announced Wednesday that he was “hopeful” that a compromise could be reached between Republican and Democratic lawmakers before it reached his desk.
2023 Assembly Bill 245 would change the shared revenue formula to primarily benefit rural communities with several conditions, as well as specific requirements for cities over 20,000 people to maintain levels of law enforcement in staffing, funding and the number of citations or arrests made by the municipality’s law enforcement agency. It would also eliminate the personal property tax and allow the City of Milwaukee to increase its sales tax through referendum to pay for employee retirements.
Evers previously criticized the bill for taking control away from local governments and adding too many requirements to secure funding. On Wednesday, Evers said that after meeting with Republican leaders, he was more confident that the bill would be amended to address some of his and other lawmakers’ concerns.
“I’ve appreciated the opportunity to meet with Speaker Vos and Majority Leader LeMahieu, and I want to thank them for their willingness to work together to find a bipartisan compromise on an issue that I believe is one of the most important that will be taken up during this legislative session—the state finally stepping up to do its part to invest in local communities across our state,” Evers said. “Our conversations together have been productive, centered around substantially increasing investments in our local communities, ensuring more flexibility to local partners than is currently provided under AB 245, and ensuring the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County have the tools they need to be financially secure and successful.
The Assembly will vote on the bill at 1 p.m. Wednesday. One amendment to the bill has been documented, although it is expected more changes will come during the Wednesday vote. If it passes, the bill will move on to the state Senate. It is the only bill being considered Wednesday.
Also on the agenda Wednesday are eight resolutions, all designating parts or all of May as support declarations for different people and organizations. One would declare May Law Enforcement Appreciation Month in Wisconsin.
You can watch the floor session at 1 p.m. on Wisconsin Eye.