Sources: Senate Republicans prepared to block budget over Bucks arena plan
So here we are in overtime on June 1st. The legislature still has not taken up the funding for the Bucks as part of the budget. Now, we're learning about the roadblocks that could be standing in the way of a new arena.
Monday two different sources told CBS 58's David Ade; at least two Republican senators are prepared to become part of the roadblock to a Bucks arena funding plan. Sources say many legislators are upset a Bucks arena plan is included in the state budget, and want it to be removed so it can be taken up as a bill of its own.
One of those sources gave details saying at least two, but as many as five Republican senators are prepared to vote against the entire state budget if a Bucks arena plan is included. Currently, Republicans control the State Senate 19-14. All 14 Democrats are expected to vote against the budget. If three or more Republicans join them, then the budget would not pass the Senate.
Sources say legislators outside of Milwaukee simply don't care if the Bucks get a new arena, and are facing pressure from constituents to oppose it.The Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President of Communications, Jake Suski, responded to those statements through an email saying, “Our conversations with legislators have been very positive. They understand that this public-private partnership is about more than basketball. While we're extremely proud of the progress we're making to build a championship-caliber franchise on and off the court and our energetic, growing fan base, there's a lot more at stake. The new sports and entertainment district would protect and enhance important revenue sources for the state. It would avoid the millions in state costs that arise from doing nothing. And it would be an economic catalyst and job creator for the region.”
Those costs if the Bucks move are the key to this; sources say legislators need to make sure they understand just how expensive it will be for all of Wisconsin if the Bucks leave Milwaukee.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's office wrote in an email, “We continue to monitor the situation in Madison and we are confident that a deal to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee has legislative support.”