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State Senate passes Milwaukee County Board reform bill

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Milwaukee County

MADISON (WITI) — The State Senate and Assembly have passed a bill that will send an April 2014 referendum to Milwaukee County voters on cutting county board supervisors’ pay in half and cutting their budget by two-thirds.

If the referendum passes, supervisor pay would be reduced to around $24,000, health insurance and pension benefits would no longer exist and the county board budget would be reduced from $6-million to $2-million. The bill also calls for more accountability, reducing a supervisor’s term from 4 to 2 years and reduces the board’s role in labor negotiations.

Opponents have argued the State Legislature is taking away Milwaukee County’s power to make their own decisions. Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) says that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“This measure is ultimately about local control and gives Milwaukee County taxpayers a choice. We are giving the citizens of the county the voice to say exactly how the county board will operate. Milwaukee County is out of control when you compare it to the other 71 counties. The referendum gives the people the chance to decide if Milwaukee County needs to bring their costs in line with other counties across the state and cut wasteful spending.”

The bill now heads to Governor Scott Walker’s desk for his signature.

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