Earlier today the Republican-controlled State Senate approved using taxpayer dollars to fund a shiny new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. The vote to approve the financing was 21 in favor of the scheme and 10 opposed, with former Democratic Minority Leader Chris Larson and five other Democrats joining Republicans in approving the scheme. In a Facebook post explaining his support for the scheme, Sen. Larson wrote he’d vote for the scheme if “the County’s heartless debt collection portion is pulled from the deal,” and he also acknowledged the scheme was not perfect. However, what Sen. Larson did not mention is the fact that the scheme Sen. Larson voted in favor of will actually see state aid to Milwaukee County cut by $4 million per year (emphasis added).

Before approving the measure, senators adopted a 12-page amendment to the proposal that:

Dropped a requirement that Milwaukee County turn over its debt collection program to the state, which has more power to recover unpaid property taxes and court fines. Instead, the county would see its state aid reduced by $4 million a year to cover its portion of the arena.

It’s worth noting that according to the Journal Sentinel’s report, the $4 million per year cut in state aid to Milwaukee County was demanded by Sen. Larson, who said that provision was “necessary to secure his vote for the arena.”

Along with Sen. Larson, five other Democrats voted to cut state aid to Milwaukee County by $4 million per year to help make the dream of a new arena for the billionaire owners of the Bucks a reality:

  • Jon Erpenbach
  • Lena Taylor
  • Nikiya Harris Dodd
  • Jennifer Shilling
  • Janis Ringhand

While I certainly appreciate the assortment of reasons why many folk from both sides of the political spectrum want to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee, what I can’t appreciate is keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee at the expense of Milwaukee County’s residents, because there’s no doubt in my mind County Executive Chris Abele will close that gap in funding by finding something to cut from the budget. That’s a travesty, and I can’t believe three state senators representing Milwaukee voted to allow the state to cut aid to the County.

That’s real money, and that cut’s going to hurt at a time when the County is already facing a myriad of problems that won’t be solved by the construction of a new arena for the Bucks.

In closing, I’m just gonna leave this here as a reminder of what a scam taxpayer funding for sports arenas/stadiums is.

7 Responses to Chris Larson votes to cut $4 million in state aid from Milwaukee County to help fund shiny new Bucks arena

  1. Wisconsin Conservative digest says:

    As usual the left yells ta
    x the rich but then gives them goodies.

    • nonquixote says:

      So tell us Bobby, are you for or against this and have you contacted your conservative legislators to tell them your feelings or have you contributed an article describing how this is a good or bad idea, now a reality for Milwaukee.

      Maybe you’ve just been relegated to the dust bin of mindless internet trolling, always generically against the “left,” instead of speaking to this or any topic in an intelligent manner.

      So again, do you see this as a good or bad deal for Milwaukee?

      The Republicons started this deal under corporate threats to move the team. Walker disallowed tribal involvement to the tune of $250M at least (while he was suppressing additional regional jobs by the thousands with that move) and because Abele or the state legislature majority were going to do this Bucks arean deal one way or the other, I’m viewing this Democratic participation as an attempt to get any tiny bit of good out of this deal for Milwaukee citizen lower level laborers and nothing more, if only in terms of short term worker wages.

      I am not for this deal to have been done with state taxpayer money at all and the Bucks could leave the state. But the Republicons were simply intimidated by threats from the NBA. Not one ounce of “fight,” was heard regarding the NBA corporate word from state Republicons in promising to challenge any attempt to remove the Bucks from Milwaukee. No ideas, no courage, just roll over to their corporate masters at state taxpayer expense.

      Which political party, Bobby is taxing and spending in this project?

  2. T says:

    I can’t believe the Democrats voted for this garbage. Giving public money to some of the richest people in the world. Unbelievable.

  3. Laurie G says:

    all I have to say is, I hope they can prove me wrong in my opinion that this is not good for Milwaukee.

  4. puddytat says:

    THIS is why Republicans are running over Democrats. Democrats just can’t stand up and do the right thing even on this. There’s nothing wrong with the Bradley Center that requires replacing it. The facility is not even 30 years old.

    We have to say NO and keep saying NO to billionaires who want taxpayers to fund the construction of pyramids to their own egos.

  5. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    It’s a small detail, but why do the cuts to Milw Co shared revenue start next year? The arena won’t even be open until 2017 (at the earliest) and the county won’t get any revenue out of it until late that year. Why are they being punished with $4 -$8 million of less state aid (and resulting tax hikes/service cuts) before the first game is played.

    Maybe some Assembly members will notice that, and fix the.flaw.

    As for Abele, he got SUCKERED in this deal (although his condo will be worth more, I guess), and I wonder if Larson is setting up a County Exec run next year with this move. That’d be a race I would like to see.

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