It's been almost two weeks since a public financing proposal for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena was announced by state and local leaders, but a path to legislative approval remains decidedly unclear. As always, the Milwaukee Business Journal's Rich Kirchen has the latest summary of where things stand and which direction they may go:
Complicating matters are the much larger questions in the state budget and the Republican legislators pushing back on multiple sections of Gov. Scott Walker's proposed spending plans. Most observers believe the arena-funding plan has a better chance if it remains in the budget rather than as a separate vote.
"I'd give it 50/50 right now that it stays in the budget," said Steve Baas, vice president of intergovernmental affairs for arena supporter, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
If the arena-funding proposal is separated, Republican state Senate leaders may need the support of Democrats in the minority and that would involve concessions on the arena plan and possibly other budget matters.
"As (Republicans) start to do the math on what sort of concessions they would have to make to gain Dem votes for it, they may decide it is the best option," Baas said. "If it goes as a separate bill there are new dynamics that make it more difficult but not necessarily impossible."
The good news is that there's still room for optimism, but the better news is that there's also room for action. State Republicans and Democrats alike ultimately answer to their constituents, and by making your opinions known -- whatever they might be -- you can make a real difference. Calling is generally the most impactful thing you can do, but emails and tweets help, too.
So here's how to do it:
2) Save Our Bucks has plenty more on what to say and how to say it. But ultimately you should say what you think!
3) This week is a huge week to make a push, so make your views known sooner rather than later.
Here are some additional details on what's happening and how you can make a difference:
Feel free to call Sen Rob Cowles to voice your support for Bucks arena plan. You can reach him at (608) 266-0484 https://t.co/StCseQP6BL— Paul Henning (@brewcitypaul) June 17, 2015
If your State Senator is Tim Carpenter, it would be worth a call to his office tomorrow at 608-266-8535. Told CBS58 tonight he's voting "no"— Save Our Bucks (@SaveOurBucks) June 16, 2015
This is a map of Carpenter's Senate District 3. See if you live in his district. http://t.co/ORYzHYBrO4— Save Our Bucks (@SaveOurBucks) June 16, 2015
Carpenter says not waiting to see final language or whether in or out of budget. He's a "no" right now on arena funding proposal.— Save Our Bucks (@SaveOurBucks) June 16, 2015