Diverse Board of Supervisors United in Urgent Appeal for Federal Aid
MILWAUKEE – The Board of Supervisors unanimously (18-0) called on the U.S. Congress to pass and President Donald J. Trump to sign a $500 billion emergency stabilization aid package for counties and cities across America today. In a remarkable show of unity among the diverse Board, thirteen supervisors asked to be added as co-sponsors of the measure introduced by Chairwoman Nicholson and Supervisors Czarnezki and Rolland.
“We are facing a massive budget gap next year as a result of the coronavirus. Without additional support from the federal government, we will not be able to adequately fund essential public services,” said Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson.
At today’s Committee the Whole meeting, Supervisors learned that the County will lose at least $105 million in expected revenue this year. Unless additional support is provided, the county could face a $34 million shortfall for 2020, despite $30 million in expenditure reductions that have already been implemented, and some federal aid. On top of the 2020 gap, analysts expect to start the 2021 budget process with a minimum $40 million deficit.
“Now is the time for the federal government to step in and protect the public from the coronavirus’s catastrophic effects on the fiscal health of the Milwaukee County,” said Supervisor Joseph Czarnezki, Chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
In addition to the $100 million in lost revenue, the burden on Milwaukee County to provide services during the pandemic to 19 municipalities has led to rapidly mounting costs, including $40 million in direct costs. County budget staff are projecting nearly $450 million in overall costs including reopening and recovery.
“Milwaukee County needs support through additional flexible and direct funding to fight the pandemic. President Trump – let’s embrace this historic opportunity to work together to restart our economy the right way,” said Supervisor Shawn Rolland.
Supervisors also learned today that 775 Milwaukee County employees have been already been furloughed, and that number is likely to increase to nearly 1100 employees, or more than 31% of the county’s active workforce of 3567.
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