Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Critical of Mental Health Bill
This Bill Lacks Accountability and Spends Tax Dollars Without Representation
Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., said today that a bill passed unanimously by the state Senate that would strip the Milwaukee County Board of its oversight of the County’s mental health system was an example of taxation without representation.
“This is an example of an outrageous overreach by the state Legislature,” said Mayo, a member of the Health & Human Needs Committee. “It seems the philosophy in Madison is to stick it to Milwaukee County. This bill strips an elected body – the County Board – of the oversight of one of the biggest budget items in the County and replaces it with an unelected board that can spend taxpayer money without any public representation.
“What you have with this bill is a power grab generated by sensational headlines in the media. Once this bill is signed by the Governor and becomes law, the public will have little input into the oversight of the mental health system. This will be taxation without representation.”
Under the bill, members of the new board will be submitted to Governor from a list submitted by the County Executive and the County Board.
“An unelected board will not necessarily represent the interests of taxpayers,” Mayo said. “Who will be accountable? Who will take the blame when this system fails? Who will my constituents call when they have a problem with the mental health system? What happened in Madison was wrong for Milwaukee County taxpayers.”
Mayo said the targeting of Milwaukee County was an example of how some in the state Legislature have a bias against the state’s largest urban county.
“What other county in this state has faced a takeover of its mental health system, or anything else for that matter?” Mayo said. “What other county has had the Legislature target it and strip its elected officials of their duties to taxpayers? It’s time for the Legislature to lay off Milwaukee County and let us fulfill our responsibilities as elected officials.”
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