Finance Committee Unanimously Approves Chairwoman Nicholson’s Amendment to Enhance Investments in Equity
MILWAUKEE, WI – The County Board’s Finance Committee unanimously approved a budget amendment Thursday from Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson that would make additional investments in equity for communities across Milwaukee County.
“With COVID-19 surging through Wisconsin and the uncertainty that brings, we have a difficult year ahead,” said Chairwoman Nicholson. “The Finance Committee’s unanimous recommendation of my amendment to invest more resources in County parks, the Domes, our Zoo and libraries, housing supports, senior services and youth programming reflects the needs and values of our residents. I look forward to working together with the County Executive and his administration to achieve our shared vision of making Milwaukee County the healthiest county in the state.”
Chairwoman Nicholson’s amendment lowers the tax levy and allows an extra $2.1 million for general fund purposes. In the spirit of Milwaukee County’s vision to achieve racial equity the additional funds are used to enhance investments in equity across Milwaukee County.
“We proposed a budget that takes steps to implement our strategic plan and I’m pleased to see the Chairwoman offer an amendment to enhance those efforts and move Milwaukee County closer to achieving our state goals,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “The Finance Committee unanimously chose to build on our strong investments in equity and provide even more resources for communities across the county. It is the residents of Milwaukee County who stand to benefit the most from our shared vision to achieve racial equity and make our county the healthiest in Wisconsin.”
The adopted amendment adds funding for Parks ($494,000) and the Zoo ($250,000) to avoid cuts that could be necessary if revenues are not achieved due to the pandemic. The amendment also provides $65,000 in seasonal funding to allow the Mitchell Park Domes to operate for all of 2021. Additionally, $282,059 is allocated to the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture to supplement seasonal staff funding. An appropriation of $10,000 is provided to the Parks Department to retain, if needed, professional assistance to perform a safety study at McKinley Beach.
A Credible Messenger program would offer violence interruption/mediation, emotional first aid, and advocacy for youth justice system-involved youth. Achievement Centers would provide educational and vocational services, job placement, apprenticeships, and job certification programming for youth and their family members.
Additionally, the amendment sets aside an appropriation of $500,000 in an allocated contingency account in the Division of Youth and Family Services to expand community alternatives for youth.
Lastly, the amendment appropriates $250,000 for the Housing Division to provide supplemental funds to combat homelessness and housing insecurity.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on Nicholson’s proposed amendment on November 9.