Milwaukee leaders request funding assistance during state budget hearing

NOW: Milwaukee leaders request funding assistance during state budget hearing

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A sports dome in Rhinelander was the setting for a state budget hearing Wednesday, April 21, and Milwaukee leaders traveled 260 miles to make an urgent plea for funding help from lawmakers.

"The problem we need to solve is really quite simple. Our costs, especially related to pension and wage benefits for public safety, continue to rise, and our revenues remain flat."

Common Council President Cavalier Johnson points out that the city has had to cut 180 police officers over two years because of the money problems. 

He wants an increase in shared revenue and the ability to raise local sales taxes.

County Executive David Crowley also painted a grim picture of his finances, despite efforts to cut costs, reform pensions and streamline services.

"Without a solution, within the next six years, all of our local tax dollars will be dedicated to supporting state-mandated services. So I want to make sure I'm clear. In the next six years, there will be no local dollars for local services."

The Joint Finance Committee is working on the state spending plan for the next two years. 

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