© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Suburban Milwaukee Republican sinks Democratic effort to alter shared revenue deal

A shared revenue deal that would bring more state aid and education money to local governments and school districts in Milwaukee and elsewhere in Wisconsin moves to the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, in a State Senate committee, Democrats tried to strip a couple of controversial items from the package, but failed, partly due to the efforts of a suburban Milwaukee Republican.

Sen. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) proposed an amendment before the Senate Shared Revenue Committee to do away with a conservative demand that in return for the money, city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and other local governments would have stop diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in hiring and contracts.

Sen. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) (center) asks a question during a Monday meeting of the State Senate Shared Revenue Committee.
Wisconsin Eye
Sen. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) (center) asks a question during a Monday meeting of the State Senate Shared Revenue Committee.

"That shouldn't be a dirty word or a dirty phrase. That means embracing everybody and making sure we have opportunities for folks who live in our communities. I don't think I've heard anything that suggests there's any community in this state that is doing anything in that regard that is problematic. It's just that idea has become politicized, and the idea we're going to come in with this bill and take away the abilities for communities to make sure the folks who live in their community have a fair shot when their local dollars are being spent, or when they are hiring, I think that's wrong, and this amendment would get rid of that prohibition," Spreitzer said.

Spreitzer also asked that the committee drop language that would make it harder for local communities to hold advisory referenda.

But the committee chairperson, newly-elected Sen. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown,) says local governments really want the up to 20 percent boost in shared revenue that's in the tentative agreement between Gov. Tony Evers (D) and GOP legislative leaders—or will be in an adjusted version in the next couple of days.

"So, I don't want to muck up what's been agreed upon outside this committee and in the final bill we're going to be voting on, on the floor. So, I would oppose the amendment," Knodl said.

Republicans shot down the Democrats' amendment by a vote of 3-2.

Several Milwaukee grassroots groups held a Madison news conference Monday to oppose a few other provisions in the tentative agreement — especially a requirement to add more Milwaukee police, including in 25 public schools.

It's unclear if the Joint Finance Committee, Senate or Assembly — all controlled by Republicans — will address those concerns in the next few days.

It's possible some conservative lawmakers will object to the additional shared revenue spending.

Editor's Note: Committee audio provided by Wisconsin Eye.

Related Content