Gov. Tony Evers at a luncheon said “hell yes” he could help communities tackle rising crime by helping them get more funding for police through increasing shared revenue even though GOP lawmakers removed his budget proposals to do just that.

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and other city leaders have repeatedly called for more shared revenue funding to help address budgetary issues such as rising pension costs and the need for more police and other emergency services. Evers said he would be happy to help Milwaukee and other municipalities get more shared revenue.

He also criticized Republicans for calling on local officials to address rising violent crime while removing from his budget proposals that would have increased shared revenue for those local areas.

“The counties and the municipalities, the townships of this state, do the hard work,” he said. “They do a lot of hard work and they’ve been hamstrung by the state of Wisconsin. Starting with my predecessor in office, they either cut or held even shared revenue. That’s the major funding source for the state of Wisconsin to municipalities.”

The Dem guv added the Republican Party used to lead on local control issues, “but on this issue it ain’t.”

State GOP spokeswoman Anna Kelly in an email told Evers does not work with Republicans in good faith to get things done.

“Tony Evers’ comments show that he can’t be trusted to take election integrity seriously or work with Republicans in good faith,” Kelly said. “Over three years into his term, Evers is too busy blaming President Trump and Governor Walker to take ownership for his failures to reopen schools, keep people safe, and help our economy recover from his extended lockdowns.

Evers also at the event said he wants to see a woman Wisconsin governor, but only after he’s done serving.

While Evers didn’t mention former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch or independent candidate Joan Ellis Beglinger, he said Wisconsin is not short on strong, qualified women who could be the state’s next leader.

“I’m hopeful after my days are done as governor of the state of Wisconsin that we have a candidate that will take that mantle, Republican or Democrat,” he said. “Let’s make it happen.”

Kleefisch, who was not at the event, took to Twitter to respond to the guv’s call.

She said: “Happy to make this dream come true!”

See Kleefisch’s tweet here.

Watch video of the luncheon at WisconsinEye.

Note: This item was updated to include both Kleefisch and Beglinger as women candidates for governor. 

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