Gov. Tony Evers today said increasing shared revenue, especially for Milwaukee, will be his top priority.
He also said he won’t sign an abortion bill with rape and incest exceptions if he wins reelection.
The Dem guv at a Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Press Club and WisPolitics.com luncheon said cities and counties do the hard work in the state by providing necessary resources such as emergency medical services, police and schools. Evers said he wants to reset the relationship between state and local governments because he says the state has failed in providing local governments the resources they need.
Evers also said: “I absolutely disagree with my opponent” on abortion legislation, namelessly referring to construction exec Tim Michels. The GOP nominee has said the state’s 1849 ban on abortion mirrors his personal views. Michels later said he would consider signing a bill that includes exceptions to the ban in cases of rape and incest. The current ban only includes an exception if the life of the mother is at risk.
“And frankly, no, I wouldn’t sign it,” the guv said. “Because that leaves the underlying law in place, which is a ban on abortion here. Because politicians in Wisconsin decided that they know more than the women; the women that want to have reproductive health decisions made by themselves.”
He added he wants to see federal abortion protections once granted under Roe v. Wade codified.
Evers also said he wants to increase shared revenue because he wants municipalities to take a comprehensive approach to tackling crime.
“We’re going to work hard to make that happen,” he said. “I hope from your vantage point, we will also think about how important that is for this city. I know that this city sends a lot of tax money down the road to Madison. You should be getting more than a zero percent increase over the last 10 years.”
Much of the shared revenue funding coming from the state goes toward police and other public safety resources.
“So by providing more resources for cities and counties, we’ll be able to start to connect the dots there,” he said. “And it’s not just the most shiny object of the day, but do we need more DAs? Do we need more investigators for that office? Do we need more bailiffs? Do we need more public defenders?”
Red flag laws, universal background checks and more funding for police, firefighter, and EMT training would also help reduce crime, he added.
Evers after the event said he’s excited to debate Michels and slammed the GOP candidate after he tweeted pictures of the aftermath of what the guv called “civil disruptions” in Kenosha during the summer of 2020.
Evers during the event said he has no regrets on his response to the protests and riots in Kenosha following the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, the same summer a Minnesota police officer killed George Floyd, also a Black man. Michels during the event posted photos showing burned out storefronts, car dealerships and other images of destruction.
“The aftermath of what Gov. Evers, just today, called ‘Civil Disruptions’ in Kenosha,”‘ Michels tweeted. “And he has no regrets.”
Evers told reporters after the event a civil disruption is a riot and the issue at hand was his response to what he called a “horrible event.”
“Well, a civil disruption is a riot, I understand,” he said. “People died. For God’s sake, that’s not the issue. The issue is what I did. I did everything that law enforcement asked me to do in Kenosha County. Bottom story, Tim Michels wants to talk about this issue until the cows come home; that’s his issue.”
Michels spokesperson Anna Kelly in response to a WisPolitics.com request for comment blasted the guv.
”Early Release Evers wants to talk about anything other than his record of failure, and even minimized the Kenosha riots as ‘civil disruptions’ after he let the city burn,” Kelly said. “Wisconsinites want real answers as to why he’s doubled-down on releasing brutal murderers and child rapists into our communities, let our schools fail, and crippled our economy — not the same tired, old talking points.”
Evers said he’s looking forward to the Friday debate with Michels. He also knocked Michels for proposing to remove about 40 percent of funding for public schools.
“That’s insanity,” Evers said. “He says it’s insanity to provide resources for the schools. That’s a big difference. I can’t wait. Friday can’t come soon enough.”
See Michels’ tweet:
Watch Evers answer reporter questions: