Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Thursday announced a new grant for Milwaukee and Milwaukee County that will award approximately $25 million to the region.
The money, which was awarded to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will go to affordable housing and other issues in the region. For example, child care services and libraries will see a boost in funding.
“While our state is in a strong fiscal position moving forward, I know that many families, workers, and communities across our state have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and many are worried — worried about making ends meet, finding affordable housing, or enrolling their kids in high-quality, affordable early child care,” said Evers. “I am glad to award these funds to help local leaders and community-based organizations across the area continue to serve and bolster their neighborhoods, ensuring they don’t just recover but thrive.”
Because of the money allotted by the federal government during the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin and other states are positioned in better financial standing than previously projected.
Due to the surplus, Evers previously proposed taking $1.7 billion to distribute directly to residents of the state through $150 payments. Furthermore, $131.8 million will grant tax breaks to certain caregivers and families.
However, Republicans in the state spoke out against the proposal, questioning the fiscal responsibility of the executive branch.
“This is fantastic news for the state of Wisconsin. This is the best fiscal position our state has ever been in. However, much of this is the result of a one-time influx of federal money into our state. We will not be foolish with these tax dollars by spending them into the future,” State Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) said in a statement about the surplus. “Rather, we will focus on further tax relief in the next budget to continue our state on a positive trajectory and ensure the long-term health of the state budget and, more importantly, family budgets.”
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