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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

 4:17 PM 

Milwaukee Dems hammer county board overhaul

Debate began on a measure to curtail the Milwaukee County Board with Milwaukee-area Dems seeking to refer the bill back to committee, saying the bill had been fast-tracked with little input from county residents.

“This isn’t a conservative bill; this is a radical bill,” said Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, saying it would set a bad precedent for state lawmakers to cut local officials’ authority, budget and salary.

Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, said hearings in the county on the issue are still ongoing.

“This body could care less what the citizens of Milwaukee County think, unfortunately,” Richards said.

Richards added that it would give the county executive’s office “more power than the governor of Wisconsin.”

Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, said he had “full faith that the Milwaukee County Board can reform itself,” noting the current composition of the board, like the state Assembly, skews toward new members.

“We’re slow, we’re inefficient, we argue. That’s good when we are debating serious policy issues,” Goyke said.

“We’re bad at micromanaging.”

The motion fell 39-58. We’re now onto amendments; there’s a sub and six simple amendments in the queue.


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