- Evers announced his budget plan to hike shared revenue by 4% in each of the following two years.
- The Gov. met with five democratic mayors from Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay.
- Even though Evers has said that he will work with both parties, he still held the closed-door meeting without a single Republican mayor present.
- Evers has suggested increasing shared revenue by $91.4 million over the upcoming biennium, equating to the 4% each year. He also has called for a $10 million supplement to fund public safety costs.
- Racine Mayor Cory Mason said the key is persuading Republican legislative leaders to put some of the state’s projected $6.9 billion surplus toward the aid.
- Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has already said he is willing to consider shared revenue. He said, “I need to see what the reforms will be, not just the revenues.”
- Kicking off 2023 with a democrats-only meeting concerning public safety displays an unwillingness to work with Republicans or even hear what they have to say.
The Governor missed another opportunity to work with GOP members; decided to hold a meeting with five democratic mayors who served as an ideological echo chamber instead.
Evers announced his budget plan to hike shared revenue by 4% in each of the following two years. The Governor shared a tweet of a photo of the meeting, saying they were discussing investing in local communities, keeping them safe, and ensuring they can respond to basic and unique needs.
Even though Evers has said he will work with both parties for the greater cause of Wisconsinites, he still decided to hold the closed-door meeting without a single Republican mayor present.
Evers has suggested increasing shared revenue by $91.4 million over the upcoming biennium, equating to the 4% each year. He also has called for a $10 million supplement to fund public safety costs. Still, we don’t have many details regarding what that entails or how that money will improve public safety for cities across Wisconsin.
Racine Mayor Cory Mason said the key is persuading Republican legislative leaders to put some of the state’s projected $6.9 billion surplus toward the aid. He added that both parties have discussed that funding public safety is essential, and “now is the time to follow through with that commitment.”
Talk of Increased Revenue
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos already stated that he is willing to consider shared revenue but needs commitments from local governments that it won’t be a blank check. Vos said, “I need to see what the reforms will be, not just the revenues.”
If Wisconsin cities need more money to improve public safety, asking for details about where that money will go and how cities can use the funds to improve public safety is expected.
The Governor mentioned that he is leery about specific reforms and distanced himself from a GOP suggestion to tie new shared revenue to state sales tax. Evers also declared a flat income tax dead on arrival.
Evers is set to provide his budget proposal in February. The GOP-controlled legislature has authority over the budget-making process, and what Evers initially proposes will likely be rejected. That is especially true if the Governor continues to have meetings about shared revenue or other important topics without any Republican leaders involved.
Evers Could Have Prioritized Public Safety Much Sooner
Milwaukee is perhaps the most significant example of how utterly out-of-hand crime has become over the past few years in Democratic-run cities. Homicide rates are shattering records every year. A postal service worker was recently shot and killed while delivering mail, 12-year-old Olivia Shultz was shot and killed while unloading groceries with her mom, an 11-year-old boy was shot in a drive-by shooting, teenagers are being found murdered in their vehicles, and many more heinous crimes have been committed.
It makes you question why these democratic mayors feel like now is the time to do something about public safety. Many children, teens, and adults have lost their lives in recent years because of democratic mayors and the Governors’ lack of urgency surrounding public safety and crime. Throwing money at a city with crime problems isn’t necessarily going to fix anything. Especially if leaders aren’t actively reviewing where that money is going and how it is making a difference in regard to crime and public safety.
We also know that Governor Evers’ plan to slash the prison population has been counterproductive in controlling crime. He promised Wisconsinites that his administration would not release violent criminals in 2018. Today, at least 884 convicted criminals have been released on early parole, including around 270 murderers or attempted murderers and 44 child rapists.
Evers also expressed his lack of support for Wisconsin police and vetoed a bill to cut shared revenue payments to municipalities that defunded their police departments. He also released inflammatory tweets that targeted and vilified law enforcement during the Kenosha riots, when looters and rioters burnt the city to the ground. Evers also lacked urgency with Kenosha, where he took painfully long to offer outmanned and overworked police the help and support they desperately needed to regain control of the city.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway made a statement about the meeting, saying it was “productive.” She added, “I am thankful that Governor Evers has made increasing shared revenue a top priority for the state budget, and I urge all parties to work together to make sure that local governments, large and small, have the resources we need to keep our communities thriving.”
It’s not surprising that Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway called the meeting exclusively consisting of democratic leaders and their shared ideas and agendas “productive.” However, it would have been much more productive if Evers had been more inclusive, inviting Republican mayors to attend the meeting.
Racine Mayor, Cory Mason, mentioned that the key is persuading the GOP to invest some of the state surplus into this aid. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway urged parties to work together to ensure resources are provided where needed. Despite the repetitive talk of working together with Republicans to make an impact, Gov. Tony Evers still specifically chose Democrat community leaders to attend this meeting and ignored all other community leaders across the state.
Some Twitter comments regarding this meeting suggested the move was a slap in the face for red areas of the state. Many more took to Evers comments section to point out the blatant exclusion of conservatives.
Twitter Users Call Tony Out
After tweeting a photo of the meeting with the five other progressive mayors, the comment section began filling with upset, frustrated voices.
One user wrote, “What about the rest of the state’s community leaders?” Another added, “Start with making cities safer! More police.”
The comments flooded his Twitter post, “Funny how it’s only liberal mayors invited… I thought you were going to work with both sides?”
Another user commented on his tweet, saying, “You’ve given these Democrat-run cities millions upon millions of dollars already, and nothing has changed. Maybe just maybe, it’s the leadership.”
More chimed in to call Evers out for conducting the meeting, “Are all of them democrat mayors?” Another said, “Ironic… all of your cronies. Invite real people.”
The Governor has a history of vetoing countless beneficial Republican-backed bills. He also has a history of pushing law enforcement needs’ under the rug. One thing we know for sure is kicking off 2023 with a “democrats only” meeting concerning public safety displays an unwillingness to work with Republicans or even hear what they have to say.
It would be ideal if these meetings would represent the entire scope of WI, not just one portion. Evers has expressed that he wants more shared revenue but doesn’t know how to get there. Having some Republicans present at that meeting could have potentially opened the door to more options.