MADISON (WITI) -- An issue in Milwaukee is commanding statewide attention. After a violent May in Milwaukee -- Governor Scott Walker and his challenger, Mary Burke are offering their views on how the state can help make Milwaukee safer.
Following a series of shootings as we approach summer in Milwaukee -- including two that injured children, city leaders have called on state lawmakers to enact harsher penalties for gun crimes.
On Wednesday, May 28th -- one week after 10-year-old Sierra Guyton was caught in the crossfire -- shot in the head while she was playing on the playground near 28th and Clarke, Gov. Walker pointed to the steps the state has already taken. His opponent, Mary Burke argues Republicans haven't shown enough interest in curbing violence in Milwaukee's inner city.
The violence in Milwaukee -- especially shootings involving children, has infuriated many.
In May, we saw an 11-year-old shot and injured near 25th and Capitol -- and then 10-year-old Sierra Guyton shot in the head on the playground.
"There`s no one solution to this, but we have to make sure our communities are safe -- that we do have the police resources in order to address the issues," Burke said.
While discussing the recent violence, Burke, Gov. Walker's Democratic challenger, accused Walker and the Republican Party of prioritizing Voter ID legislation over the safety of Milwaukee residents.
"I think from what we`ve seen in the bills that have been passed, it does appear like they take voter suppression more seriously than the violence suppression," Burke said.
After touring a New Berlin factory on Wednesday, Gov. Walker dismissed Burke's criticism.
"I think it`s hogwash. If you look at the -- we put money in the ShotSpotter. We`ve worked on other legislation," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker refers to an expansion of the ShotSpotter program used by the Milwaukee Police Department -- an expansion funded in part by the state.
Gov. Walker adds -- he's open to new laws aimed at those who use guns to commit a crime.
"We`re willing to work with members of the Legislature going forward in this next session to try and tackle ways we can keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals in this state and we`re committed to doing that," Gov. Walker said.
Gov. Walker said he's open to the idea of using state money to hire more police officers in Milwaukee -- but only if the city and county were matching those funds -- similar to the ShotSpotter expansion.