County Supervisors Ryan Clancy and Juan Miguel Martinez have introduced 31 amendments to the 2023 Milwaukee County budget, each of which would invest in vital human services for county residents.
“We know that funding services such as transportation and parks is a higher priority for our community than policing and jails,” said Supervisor Martinez. “Each amendment we are proposing advances the basic needs, safety, and dignity of people across Milwaukee County. Every measure is in line with the Balancing Act data and overwhelming public testimony we receive every year.”
“Each year, residents from around Milwaukee County—in the Balancing Act responses, in public forums and town halls—express clearly that they want to see fewer dollars spent on punitive measures and more on human needs and infrastructure,” said Supervisor Clancy. “This year, with a staggering 89% of Balancing Act respondents asking us to keep the unaccountable and ballooning Milwaukee County Sheriff’s budget in check, is no different. These amendments seek to honor the wishes of the public and ask us to imagine what happens when we invest in Milwaukee County instead of overpolicing it.”
Investments made through these budget amendments include $29 million to make MCTS and paratransit services free, as well as a substitute amendment investing $2.1 million to make the services free for youth. Another amendment would provide $737,980 to restore or transform paratransit services based on recommendations from a stakeholder taskforce.
Other amendments would invest $3 million to restore visitation at the Milwaukee County Jail; $3 million to provide no-cost calls for people in our care at the Jail and Community Reintegration Center; and $2 million to revitalize the post-booking stabilization program at the Jail.
Each amendment is funded by removing dollars from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). The 2023 Recommended Budget includes a $1.5 million increase to MCSO’s budget.
Supervisors Martinez and Clancy will host a press conference on Thursday, October 27 at 3 p.m. on the steps of the Milwaukee County Jail to discuss these budget amendments.
The County Board’s Finance Committee will consider budget amendments from Supervisors over three meetings taking place Wednesday, October 26; Thursday, October 27; and Friday, November 4. The County Board will hold its annual public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, November 1. The Board will adopt the annual budget on Thursday, November 10.