The legislation to reform the Milwaukee County Board was introduced today and has a number of substantial changes in it meant to address some of the legitimate concerns that people had brought up. It's also worth nothing that Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor has signed on as a co-sponsor in addition to Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), State Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) & State Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis).
Those changes include:
- Compensation cap has been bumped from $15,000 to $24,051, which is the county’s per capita income. The chair could receive up to 150% of that number
- The county board budget remains capped at 0.4 percent of the tax levy. However, it excludes board salary until April 2016 and the legacy benefits that each department must pay for.
- The compensation cap is still dependent on the voters approving it in a referendum; the referendum will be moved to April 2014.
- Supervisor terms will change from 4 to 2 years. This is in line with every other county in the state.
- The changes to board compensation would take place at the end of the current term, in 2016. Other budgetary changes would take place in 2014.
- The legislation now includes a section on clarifying board and county executive functions. These would take effect upon passage of the legislation.
Before the legislation was released, these were some major sticking points among some of my progressive friends. I also shared in some of those concerns. Now that they've been addressed, we'll see if these concessions are enough for people to get on board, or if the Board continues to fight against this so it can kick the can down the road again with their "OUR Milwaukee" plan.
Speaking of which, it's been a week since that plan was announced. Has there been any movement on that plan since it was announced?