Rep. Bowen Proud to See Investments in Programs He Has Championed

MILWAUKEE – In response to the news yesterday that Governor Tony Evers plans to invest more than $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars into targeted public safety needs, State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“I commend Governor Evers for announcing today that he will be directing over $50 million dollars into targeted public safety investments in order to help make our communities all over Wisconsin safer. Added to the $45 million dollars already allocated towards proven violence prevention measures, Gov. Evers has now committed over $100 million dollars of ARPA funds towards making sure that our communities are safe after negative effects & challenges of the pandemic. And while some might like to think that simply increasing penalties or imposing harsher punishments is a one-size-fits-all answer to reducing crime, the data bears out that the balanced, targeted approach that Gov. Evers is taking with these investments will help create a real path to lasting community safety where people can drive to work, children can play outside, and we all can enjoy the big events Wisconsinites always enjoy.

I was particularly pleased to see Gov. Evers’ direct $20 million to Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee for various criminal justice system improvements and initiatives as well as community safety projects, including funding for reckless driving mitigation and reentry-oriented programming that I have helped lead bipartisan conversations on in the Capitol and within the community. Additionally, given the fact that crime tends to increase as warmer weather brings more people out of their homes, these investments are coming at just the right time to help ensure that last year’s setback in violent crime rates does not continue.

But what is clear is that yesterday’s important investments cannot be the last ones into these important & essential initiatives that I’ve been able to highlight in my office. Gov. Evers has wisely used the ARPA funds he controls, but those are not long-term funds, and the Legislature must continue the conversations and funding streams that the Governor has started.

Although it may not always feel that way, the next budget cycle is coming up quickly, and it is crucial that the Legislature return to the table – continuing Session if need be – and work with Gov. Evers now and through the next budget cycle to ensure that these programs get the long-term, sustainable funding they deserve to help keep our communities safe!”

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