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Proposed bill would give more power to county executives

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) – A proposed bill is causing tension between County Executive Chris Abele and the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors.

It would change the balance of power between county executives and county administrators in almost every county in the state.

The bill hasn’t been introduced yet, but it’s already causing controversy.

The draft says that in the case of a conflict between county board action and county executive action, the action of the executive will prevail.

Supervisors say the bill would allow County Executive Chris Abele to do anything he wants. They are calling it an abuse of power which would effectively eliminate the legislative branch of the county government.

The draft is a long way from getting passed, tub the county board met and discussed the issue at length Thursday night.

On Friday, CBS 58 spoke with two county supervisors who say they are disgusted that the county thinks this is a good idea.

“Those of us who grew up in America and believe in democracy, you have an executive branch and a legislative branch and one doesn’t try to eliminate the other, we work our conflicts through a process,” said 16th District Supervisor John F. Weishan.

“I think it’s a good bill. Whether or not I was County Executive, one of the reasons we have bipartisan support, not just for the executives, but in the state legislature, is because they think so too,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

Governor Walker, the former Milwaukee County Executive, would ultimately have to sign off on it and isn’t sold.

“I thought there was a good balance before. There’s a line item veto and things like that,” Gov. Walker said.

County Supervisors say they’re not sure exactly who drafted the bill and that’s something they’re working to figure out. In order to pass, the bill would need sponsors to go before the state assembly and senate.

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