Divested funds to be spent on human needs and infrastructure.
MILWAUKEE – Today the Board of Supervisors adopted [11-6] the 2022 Milwaukee County budget. The board adopted amendments removing $2.4 million from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) capital and operating budgets to fund human needs, including the replacement of South Shore Park’s playground, employee benefits, and the re-opening of pools across the County in 2022.
“The amendments passed by the board today are a good start, but this isn’t nearly enough to meet the demands that the public has clearly made,” said Supervisor Ryan Clancy. “A 6% increase to the MCSO when other budgets like mental health and parks are flat is not acceptable. Other departments are accountable, transparent, stay within their budgets, and don’t cost the County additional funds in lawsuits for brutality. The Sheriff’s Department meets none of those criteria.”
Funding from the amendments will be used to replace the playground at South Shore Park, allocate more than $600,000 to replace high priority equipment required to maintain the parks system, sets funds aside to re-open County pools in 2022, roll back increases in costs for employee health benefits, and reduce general obligation bonding by more than $400,000 to bring the budget under the County Board’s self-imposed bonding limit.
One amendment recommended by the Finance Committee would have funded the creation of a Registered Nurse position with the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services’ homeless outreach team and would have provided support for people struggling with opiate addiction and homelessness. This amendment failed to pass the full board on an 8-9 vote.
23 other amendments, which would have divested a total of $18 million from the MCSO’s operating budget and funded human needs ranging from support for credible messenger programs to harm reduction in the jail and House of Corrections, were also defeated.