Barrett: Milwaukee Still Waiting For ‘Transform’ Money


Governor Walker and his rival in last June’s recall election are disagreeing over how much money the state has put into Milwaukee.

Six weeks before the recall contest Governor Walker announced a $100 million aid package would be coming for Milwaukee. Walker called the initiative “Transform Milwaukee.” Last week, the Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee ran a front page story with a headline that asked “Transform Milwaukee?,” and reported that city officials were still waiting for the $100 million. Governor Walker said Monday, (1/21) that $70 million has already been invested in the city: “We’re going to have some things in the budget, both through WHEDA and DCF. WHEDA has put $70 million in.”

But Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says $42 million in WHEDA help went to a new downtown hotel, far from the city’s struggling neighborhoods, and that another $20 million went for a water-related business project near downtown. Barrett says most of the WHEDA investments have been outside a presumed target area. “Anybody that looks at Transform Milwaukee can see that money didn’t go to Transform Milwaukee. Take a look. It just isn’t true.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Barrett says it’ll be interesting to see what money there is for Milwaukee in Governor Walker’s proposed state budget next month.