MILWAUKEE – County Supervisor Ryan Clancy has introduced 24 amendments to the 2022 Milwaukee County Recommended Budget, each of which moves funding from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) into human needs and infrastructure.
“Decades of data show that continuing to spend on policing instead of human needs does not make our community better or safer,” said Supervisor Clancy. “In committee meetings, surveys, and open houses, Milwaukee County residents have made clear that they support moving money away from ineffective, punitive measures and upstream into parks, housing, and economic equity. These amendments move our budget closer to that vision.”
The package includes measures to build playgrounds and park infrastructure, allow pools to open, provide intervention for people dealing with opiate addiction, bolster the county’s Credible Messenger program, provide increased benefits to county employees, expand the Park Rangers program, expand opportunities for people incarcerated by the county, and more.
Amendments within the package have been co-sponsored by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson, 1st Vice-Chair Sequanna Taylor, 2nd Vice-Chair Steven Shea, and Finance Committee Chair Jason Haas and others.
The recommended budget proposes a $3 million, 6% increase to the MCSO operating budget and nearly $700,000 for an array of surveillance cameras on the lakefront. The funding increase comes despite demands by many community groups and a recent letter signed by organizations including Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, African American Roundtable, Milwaukee DSA, and Midwest Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression to reduce the Sheriff’s budget by at least 25%.
“As poverty, mass incarceration, institutionalized racism and sexism has hurt our county for decades, now is the time to put funding into our people,” said Supervisor Priscilla Coggs-Jones, a co-sponsor of many of the amendments. “These amendments do just that. We cannot defer funding our people, youth, families, seniors, and diversity. The infrastructure of our families, neighborhoods, communities, and this county is crashing. Now is the time to put the people first.”
The County Board’s Finance Committee will consider budget amendments from Supervisors over four meetings taking place Tuesday, October 26; Wednesday, October 27; Thursday, October 28; and Wednesday, November 3. The County Board will hold its annual public hearing on the budget on Monday, November 1. The Board will adopt the annual budget on Monday, November 8.
Supervisors can become initial co-sponsors of the amendments through the end of day on Monday, October 25 or request co-sponsorship when amendments are heard in Finance Committee.