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Evers proposes increased local funding for public safety

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, just five weeks before he is up for re-election, announced Monday that, if he wins, he will propose a 4% increase in funding for local governments each of the next two years.

Evers said the money, totaling more than $91 million over two years, could be used to pay for public safety priorities. His plan includes $10 million in funding for local governments to spend specifically on police, fire and emergency services costs.

Evers also announced that he would immediately provide nearly $3.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to the Wisconsin State Patrol and campus police departments.

Republican Tim Michels has made crime a central focus of his campaign against Evers, arguing that the Democrat has failed to keep communities safe.

The next governor will present a state budget proposal to the Legislature early next year. Even if Evers wins, his proposal must pass the GOP-controlled Legislature, which has gutted much of its last two budgets.

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Evers has tried to deflect some of Michels’ criticism by trying to blame the Legislature for rejecting his calls to increase state aid to local communities and cut funding he proposed to beef up law enforcement.

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