June 2023 update: Governor Evers reneged on his pledge and signed the bill into law.
MADISON – The ACLU of Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC), Community Task Force MKE, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), and the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression today thanked Gov. Tony Evers for his commitment to vetoing shared revenue legislation that would force county and municipal governments to forfeit their authority to receive needed state funding.
The letter to Gov. Evers stated:
“We thank you for your commitment to veto Assembly Bill 245/Senate Bill 301 unless this legislation removes restrictions on local control. Even as amended, this shared revenue proposal undermines democracy, strips local authority from the county and municipal governments across the state, and holds the majority-minority City of Milwaukee hostage.
“Send me a clean bill that talks about the money that we are going to give to the municipalities,” you said. We agree.
AB 245/SB 301 allows the Legislature to impose its will on communities across the state, undermining the local approach to governance that underlies a well-functioning democracy that prioritizes the people's needs. This bill has too many strings attached that hamper the ability of local elected officials and communities to govern themselves…”
This proposed bill impedes on the power of county and municipal governments. It forces them to forfeit state funding if they wish to exercise their autonomy and refuse to make the radical changes required by the legislature.
The letter thanked Gov. Evers for coming out so forcefully against the deliberate attacks on local control in the first iteration of AB 245. However, it made clear that the bill passed by the assembly, even as amended, still undercuts the discretion of local governments. The latest version still includes burdensome maintenance of effort requirements, bans local advisory referenda, dismantles DEI programs, guts the civilian oversight authority of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, and forces armed school resource officers back into the Milwaukee Public School system.
The authors of the letter also expressed appreciation to Evers for vetoing past bills that would have imposed restrictions on local control that are similar to those put forth in AB245/SB301, stating that they trust him to “stop this attempt to undermine the authority of local communities, especially communities of color, in the wake of a nationwide attack on local control.”