Madison, WI – Representative Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger) voted for Assembly Bill 245, which will significantly increase aid for local governments, during yesterday’s floor session. This afternoon, he issued the following statement:
“Before entering the Wisconsin State Assembly, I spent many years in local government, serving on the Washington County Board of Supervisors and the Slinger Village Board. I understand the pivotal role local government plays in improving the quality of life for people by adequately funding public safety, keeping the parks clean, and investing in public works.
“Local governments across Wisconsin have worked hard to balance their budgets and provide excellent services while limiting the tax burden. It is time to support the state’s many communities with a historic increase in shared revenue, which has been frozen since 2004. The new funding will help our communities with supporting law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical services, public works, and transportation.
“Assembly Bill 245 also includes a new Innovation Fund amounting to $300 million to incentivize consolidation and efficiency at the local level. If a project is approved by the Department of Revenue, the project will receive three years of funding. Two or more communities must share services that results in at least a 5% savings by year two and a 10% savings by year three. Consolidation of services at the local level is the future and I know it works because of the success of the Washington-Ozaukee Health Department; which prevented layoffs and allowed both counties to share resources.
“I proudly co-authored this legislation because it will be transformative in helping our counties, cities, villages, and towns with the financial challenges ahead.”