State Would Collect Milwaukee County Debt Under Bill Approved By Assembly

Plan Was First Introduced As Part Of Bucks Arena Financing Plan

Sharan Mohandas (CC-BY)

The state would handle debt collections for Milwaukee County under a bill passed by the state Assembly on Thursday night.

The idea of collecting debts for Milwaukee County first appeared before the state Legislature last year, as part of the funding plan for construction of a new Milwaukee Bucks arena. However, that proposal was defeated.

Opponents of the revived plan, including Milwaukee Rep. Fred Kessler, say the bill is trying to finance the county’s share of arena costs at the expense of low-income people.

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“We are taking money from poor people and trying to get it to millionaires,” said Kessler.

Proponents point out that the bill offers installment plans for certain low-income people. It also provides $1 million for worker training in the county.

The bill now goes to the Senate.