Updated Wednesday at 9:35 a.m. CT

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would reduce the city's police force by 120 positions in his proposed 2021 budget. Barrett is presenting the $1.5 billion budget to the Common Council Tuesday.

The police positions would be reduced through attrition. The mayor's budget cuts about $430,000 from the police department's current funding level.

The proposal follows the loss of 60 sworn police jobs in this year's budget, which cut the department to about 1,800 officers.


The University of Wisconsin System’s new interim leader wants to expand a free tuition promise program for low and moderate-income students to all UW campuses in the coming years. But it’s dependent on funding that may be difficult to procure during the COVID-19 crisis.

Screenshot / Wisconsin Department of Health Services / YouTube

Updated at 5:18 p.m. CT

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is implementing a second round of state budget cuts as the economy continues to flounder. Evers announced Wednesday that he is telling state agencies to find $250 million in cost savings for the current fiscal year.

Maayan Silver

Updated at 10:57 a.m. CT

The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday overturned three of four partial budget vetoes issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, bucking decades of court precedent that upheld the governor’s broad veto powers.

However, the justices also upheld one of Evers’ vetoes as well as two made by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2017. The court declined to hear a separate challenge to those vetoes, saying the 2019 lawsuit that came after Walker left office was filed too late.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee County officials are projecting a $10 million budget deficit for the 15,000-acre county parks system this year due to health restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. County leaders are hoping that citizen volunteers will — literally — lend a hand.

Despite renewed concerns about COVID-19 over the last two weeks, Milwaukee County continues to reopen facilities at some of its roughly 155 park sites. On July 4, wading pools or splash pads opened at eight parks, including Cooper on Milwaukee's northwest side and Jacobus Park in Wauwatosa.

Lauren Sigfusson

The Milwaukee Common Council passed a flurry of resolutions Tuesday morning. One of them was whether to explore a 10% reduction in the 2021 Milwaukee Police Department budget, resulting in an estimated $30 million from the department.

The measure was introduced by Alderman Jose Perez.

"There's a lot of things I think that we could think about and do to help our communities and continue public safety in a different way," says Perez.

Marina Marr / stock.adobe.com

The true economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unclear. Unemployment has had its highest surge in U.S. history, dwarfing previous records. Small businesses are struggling to survive, and the stock market has been vacillating between extreme lows and highs.

In the Milwaukee area, people are concerned about what this is going to mean for themselves, their loved ones, and the community. Rob Henken, president of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, has been analyzing how this pandemic may impact local budgets.

Evers Orders 5% Cut In State Spending

Apr 29, 2020
Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 2 p.m. CT

Gov. Tony Evers has ordered state agencies to reduce spending by 5% between now and July, drawing praise Wednesday from Republicans who called for even more cuts in the face of steep revenue drops due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Screenshot / WisconsinEye

Wisconsin governors have the most sweeping veto powers in the nation when it comes to spending measures, allowing them to use the veto pen to tweak language approved by lawmakers. But a conservative organization is looking to scale those powers back.


Preserving transit, raising the tax levy, and addressing public safety concerns. Those were just some of the actions that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors took Tuesday when they passed the $1.18 billion 2020 budget.

While it was mostly uncontroversial, supervisors did make a few amendments striking some measures from County Executive Chris Abele's proposal. Such as, Abele's idea to eliminate the work release program at the county jail. This would allow people to be released and be monitored electronically. Abele says the change would save $1.7 million.

Alesandra Tejeda

It’s that time of year again when lawmakers are deliberating budget proposals from the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County. This year the county caught some fortuitous breaks whereas the city is struggling to cover soaring pension costs. But both are calling for raising the sales tax as a tenable way forward. 

Angelina Mosher Salazar

Rising pension costs were the major concern raised by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in his 2020 budget address before the Common Council on Tuesday morning. He called the current situation “untenable."

In just three years, the city is expected to pay $100 million more for pensions. Currently, the proposed city 2020 budget is $1.6 billion. Well, Barrett tried to put that staggering $100 million number into perspective.

Maayan Silver

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett outlined how he'd like to see millions of dollars of city taxpayer money be spent during his budget address today. But Barrett isn’t the only person with ideas. The African American Roundtable and 45 community partners surveyed more than 1000 community members to find out what their priorities are for the 2020 budget.

Bus lines, parks, the Mitchell Park Domes. These are all things that are funded by the county. According to Milwaukee County leaders, the municipality has been operating with a structural deficit for years and difficult cuts must now be made. 

Marti Mikkelson

About 200 people packed into the Municipal Building in downtown Milwaukee Thursday night to give input on the 2020 city budget. Mayor Tom Barrett told the crowd the spending plan for next year poses some unique challenges.

He says 83% of the resources in 2020 will go to the police, public works and fire departments. Departments like libraries, neighborhoods and health will make up less than 10%.