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County Worker Contributions One Key to Abele's Budget

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's proposed 2015 budget holds the line on taxes, but at a cost for some employees.

County workers would again shoulder some of the burden of balancing the county's 2015 budget.

Rob Henken of the non-partisan Public Policy Forum says, on the whole, Abele's spending outline is fiscally responsible; it resizes and restructures some county operations. And, it asks more of employees.

"There are measures such as continued health care changes and a wage freeze, that from a financial perspective not only help balance the budget in 2015, but promise savings in future years, and there is continued general progress in eroding a serious structural deficit," Henken says.

Henken says the passage of Act 10 has allowed Milwaukee County and many other municipalities statewide to cut expenses by trimming employee health care and fringe benefit costs. 

However, he says it is not feasible to expect such cuts to continue as a way of reducing overall costs.

"It is worth noting that this is the fourth consecutive year that most county employees will see reductions in their net compensation," Henken says.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's proposed budget totals $1.3 billion. It includes no tax increases.

The Milwaukee County will vote on the budget next month.