Madison – Tonight, Representative Mike Bare (D-Verona) voted against the Assembly Republicans’ rushed proposal to reform local government funding.

“For many years, Republicans in the Legislature have taken tools and resources away from local governments that they relied on to succeed. I know from my time as a Verona City Council member and member of the Dane County Board that local governments have been pleading with the Governor and Legislature to positively transform how we fund local governments.

The Republicans’ plan attaches dozens of strings to the funding that step on local control, further limit crucial powers that public health officers used to keep us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, undermine local diversity programming, and unnecessarily restrict the state’s primary environmental stewardship funding program.

A major goal of the Republicans’ proposal is to ensure the City and County of Milwaukee can succeed financially under the heavy weight of a looming unfunded pension liability. Instead, the Republicans’ plan perpetuates the systemic and historic oppression of the people of Milwaukee. I’ve lived three years of my life in Milwaukee and it holds a special place in my heart. As a State Representative of some of the most privileged communities in this state, I cannot look the other way on that oppression no matter how much more money might be inequitably coming to communities in my district.

Democrats offered amendments that would have given local governments adequate funding without unnecessary strings attached. Assembly Republicans refused to discuss those amendments, walked away from productive negotiations with Democrats in the Legislature and Governor Evers, and rammed through their deeply flawed plan. This was an easy no vote and I’m hopeful the Governor and Republicans in the State Senate negotiate a better plan.”

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