Daily Bread for 6.1.23: Wisconsin’s Shared Revenue Deal Still… No Deal

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:26 PM for 15h 08m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 91.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 2009, General Motors files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

It’s June 1st, and the United States House of Representatives managed last night to pass a debt-limit bill, on a vote of 314-117, to send to the Senate. These two federal chambers are not known for cooperation between parties, or often even within one party. Nonetheless, the House passed a bill that is likely to pass the Senate and reach the president’s desk. 

Here, in Wisconsin, we’re still waiting for a state agreement on shared revenue in conditions of one-party legislative control. Local talk that a deal was imminent was only true if one stretched imminent beyond any reasonable definition; a deal was only in the works if in the works meant someone, somehow will think of something. See from 5.23.23 A Wisconsin Shared Revenue Deal Hasn’t Been Imminent for Months (Obviously).

Here in Wisconsin, Senate lawmakers consider the potential consequences of no shared revenue deal:

“What happens if we don’t pass the bill?” Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) asked the bill’s co-authors during the hearing in the Senate Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection committee. 

Much of the conversation focused on the consequences for Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, which is headed towards a fiscal cliff if it’s not capable of securing additional revenue. 

Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) said they’ve had some conversations with Milwaukee and Milwaukee County officials about the possibility.

“The city does have some pension reserve money and some [ARPA] money left over, so they might be able to limp through for a year,” Felzkowski told the committee. “But then at some point, cuts are going to start to happen.” 

Felzkowski cited estimates that the city would need to cut $25 million in funding for its public library or about 545 police officer positions and 209 firemen positions to offset the pension costs, if there is no increase. 

“I don’t think that’s healthy for the city,” Felzkowski said. “If this does not happen, we have a lot of other tough decisions to make and none of those are positive.” 

A large surplus, collected through taxation, that the state government simply holds (hoards, truly) benefits no community in Wisconsin.  

What’s in the Night Sky June 2023:

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