MILWAUKEE- Bipartisanship by way of the corrections system.
During WTMJ 2022 today, Governor Tony Evers told WTMJ’s Steve Scaffidi that he would consider republican-backed proposals that would alter how the state deals with criminal offenders.
Lawmakers this week began the process of changing the state’s constitution that would allow a judge to determine whether or not a repeat criminal offender is offered bail. The proposed amendment would also set a minimum bail amount for other offenders at $10,000 dollars.
While speaking with Scaffidi, Governor Evers didn’t say he’s in favor of the current proposal but said he wouldn’t dismiss changes out of hand.
“As soon as I see a bill that includes input from not only both sides, but from those that work in correctional institutions, could bail reform be something I sign? Absolutely.”
Proponents of the amendment say it would keep violent criminals off the streets and could have prevented something like the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy from taking place. Opponents of the change say it would put in place financial barriers that would negatively affect people charged with a crime that don’t have the funds to pay higher bail amounts.
During his wide ranging interview this morning, the Governor also championed reforming the way the state shares revenue with individual municipalities. Saying it he believes more money would help stop a spike in violent crime, especially in Milwaukee.
“We’ve cut back and cut back and when you look at salaries for police officers or the number of police officers, a lot of that has to do with shared revenue and if there’s not adequate stream of shared revenue from the state, that’s going to make it more difficult for police, and that’s especially true in Milwaukee.”
Milwaukee is in the midst’s of its deadliest start to a year on record. The City is currently on pace to set a record for homicides in a single year for the 3rd consecutive year.
“Legislators like to pick on some place and they like to pick on Milwaukee and that’s unfortunate,” Evers said.
Late last year the state put $40 million dollars into violence prevention efforts across Wisconsin. $8 million is going towards the City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, $6.6 million is going to the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Project, while another $10.4 million is going towards statewide grants for violence prevention work. All the money comes from the state’s portion of the American Rescue Act Plan.
For all of our WTMJ 2022 Coverage, click here.