The election-year debate over demands for police ‘defunding’

MILWAUKEE — Crime and police funding are already two big issues in the 2022 election, which is why PolitiFact Wisconsin is investigating a claim over police funding.

In Milwaukee alone, the need for more money to fund the police comes up all the time. But a Republican group is trying to claim that Democrats want to take funding away from the police.

“The Republican Governors Association, which works to place Republicans in state homes across the country, recently claimed that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, gave counties the go-ahead to dismantle Wisconsin’s police department,” said Greg Borowski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

What is happening here?

PolitiFact Wisconsin says Governor Evers vetoed a Republican-backed plan that would have penalized cities and counties if they cut police budgets.

The sanction would have been a reduction in revenue shared by the state.

“It’s confusing, but the bottom line is this: By vetoing the bill, Evers kept the status quo in place, things stay as they are today. He just pulled out a gavel proposed and our point of view since (is) nothing has changed.” says Borowski. “It doesn’t give local governments the green light to slash police budgets.”

PolitiFact Wisconsin points out that Milwaukee, under Mayor Cavalier Johnson and former Mayor Tom Barrett, lobbied for more street offices with the help of Governor Evers.

“Evers himself said cutting police budgets went too far and earmarked $100 million in COVID relief funds to improve law enforcement,” Borowski said.

PolitiFact Wisconsin assessed this claim as primarily false.

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