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Politics & Government

Abele to Deliver County Budget Address Wednesday

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There was a break in tradition this year; the address was delayed. 

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will present his budget address Wednesday. His proposal is expected to include more money for mental health services and for the sheriff’s department.

Each year, the county executive delivers his budget address to the county board at its regularly scheduled meeting in September.

The address was set for last Thursday, until County Executive Chris Abele informed the board that he needed to postpone the event.

Abele says before he can finalize his budget, he needs to know how much money the state plans to send the county, for services such as the courts and transit. Abele says this year, the state estimates came in late.

“The state keeps changing details until fairly late in fact even just last week. Numbers that we have to build into our budget that come from the state change,” Abele says.

So, Abele asked to reschedule, for today. By law, the county exec must submit a budget proposal by Oct. 1. County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic called a special board meeting to accommodate Abele’s request. She says, for the most part, it’s no big deal.

“Unfortunately, it does shorten our time that the public has to review it. We have a certain amount of weeks that we have to get it done by, so we will have one week less of time,” Dimitrijevic says.

Dimitrijevic says during the ten years she’s served on the board, she can’t recall this ever happening. The Board’s finance committee was going to schedule an extra public hearing because of the delay.

Last year, the state sent Milwaukee County $258 million. That covered about one fifth of the county’s $1.3 billion budget.

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