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Reports: Governor Scott Walker expected to sign arena funding bill next week

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports form and Rich Kirchen of The Milwaukee Business Journal, Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the arena bill on August 12th at the Wisconsin State Fair. After passing comfortably--though not without a fair share of anxiety-- through the state senate and assembly in July,  the next step was getting it to Governor Walker's desk. It just so happens that said desk will be in West Allis surrounded by cream puffs and livestock.

According to both reports, Milwaukee officials are still looking for a change in the final bill. Currently, 75% of a $2 ticket surcharge would go towards repaying Wisconsin Center District debt, with the remaining 25% going to the state's portion. Milwaukee officials would like the full amount going to the WCD, which is expected to face higher interest charges due to deferral of debt repayment for a decade. Walker can flex his line-item veto powers should he choose to do so, but such a move isn't expected to derail any momentum the bill has gained.

Once Governor Walker signs, the package will also require approval by the Milwaukee Common Council in September, while the sale of the Park East land intended for the arena and ancillary mixed-use development is also expected to be completed within a few weeks. As it stands, both hurdles are expected to be all but a formality going forward. The Bucks are hoping to get a shovel in the ground by October or November, with the goal of having the arena done by the start of the 17/18 season.