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Thursday, February 18, 2016

 10:59 PM 

Assembly passes Milwaukee County debt collection bill

The Assembly has given a green light to a bill that revives provisions similar to those in the Bucks arena legislation that would let Milwaukee County use its debt collection to cover its portion of the project.

The money this time around, though, is not set aside specifically for the Bucks arena.

The bill drew a bipartisan 55-40 vote.

AB 885, by Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, would let the Department of Revenue take over debt collection for the county. The legislation would allow for payment plans as low as $25 per month in certain circumstances based on income levels of those who owe.

Among the amendments to the bill is one that would ensure the money collected is directed to the areas of county government to which the debt was owed. A further amendment also places restitution to crime victims as the top priority. Money left over would go to the county coffers.

The bill each year would direct $1 million or 50 percent of the amount collected, whichever is less, to a local workforce development board. The bill also would require review of the debt collection every three years.

Milwaukee County now is receiving $4 million less per year in shared-revenue payments from the state to cover the counties portion of the arena project.


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