MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – The Wisconsin Assembly passed its shared revenue bill with slight changes Wednesday evening.
The bill passed 56-36, with three Republicans joining all 33 Democrats in the Assembly in voting against the bill.
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.
The bill passed with one modification: increasing aid for local governments by 15%, up from at least 10%. Two other amendments were tabled.
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. However, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that negotiations on the bill have ended.
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.
It was the only bill considered Wednesday. Eight resolutions, all designating parts or all of May as support declarations for different people and organizations. One declared May Law Enforcement Appreciation Month in Wisconsin.