As many of you have heard, the financing for the Milwaukee Arena has passed the Senate by an unexpectedly wide margin of 21-10. While we would love to celebrate, it is still too early. Yesterday’s vote was the first of three hurdles which includes passage by the Assembly and passage of the City portion by the Milwaukee Common Council. Today’s accomplishment will greatly influence what happens next with the Assembly and the City. We have good information that the Assembly vote will likely happen in the next two to three weeks when members are back from vacations and have had a chance to review changes to the plan. The City vote is not yet scheduled.
If you have not had the chance to review the changes to the deal, the Journal Sentinel articulates them well HERE. The largest change attaches a $2 user fee to each ticket sold at the Arena – this will offset a portion of the funds contributed by the Wisconsin Center District and the State. In addition, the County’s portion of the deal will no longer be contributed through state-run debt-collection, but rather a reduction of state-aid to the County of $4 million annually. The article outlines other changes and reaction to the deal.
CARW’s role in this is significant and has been noticed – organizationally AND individually. Because of your foresight nearly a year ago, to embrace this issue as a key priority, CARW has had the opportunity to shape the conversation as it relates to ancillary development and economic impact. As the voice for commercial real estate in Wisconsin, members really stepped up. Your calls to Senators and Assembly Representatives caused legislators to listen, respect, and make informed decisions reflecting their most involved constituents. Whether it was your first time calling a legislator or your 20th time, know that this makes an enormous impact. If you are curious about how your representative voted, see below. If you are so inclined, send them a note of thanks.
Stay tuned for the next steps as we close in on this significant project.
How they voted:
Republican senators voting for the Bucks arena bill: Alberta Darling of River Hills, Paul Farrow of Pewaukee, Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac, Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, Mary Lazich of New Berlin, Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg, Howard Marklein of Spring Green, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls, Luther Olsen of Ripon, Roger Roth of Appleton, Duey Stroebel of Cedarburg, Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa, Van Wanggaard of Racine
Democratic senators voting in favor: Jon Erpenbach of Middleton, Nikiya Harris-Dodd of Milwaukee, Chris Larson of Milwaukee, Janis Ringhand of Evansville, Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse, Lena Taylor of Milwaukee
Republican senators voting against: Rob Cowles of Allouez, Steve Nass of Whitewater, Jerry Petrowski of Marathon
Democratic senators voting against:Janet Bewley of Ashland, Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee, Dave Hansen of Green Bay, Julie Lassa of Stevens Point, Fred Risser of Madison, Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, Bob Wirch of Kenosha
Senators not present: Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), Mark Miller (D-Monona)
Paul Galbraith, CARW Chairman