The state Assembly is scheduled to vote Tuesday on funding a new Milwaukee Bucks arena. Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Vandenbroek) said Monday that not all Republican members are on board, so they’ll need Democrats as well. “We’ve said all along that their target should be 15 votes and we’re hoping that they can get there, because I think that’s about what’s going to be needed to get it passed,” Steineke said.
The funding plan, already approved by the state Senate, uses tax money to help cover about half the cost of the $500 million arena. “If we don’t get this done, the state loses money,” said Steineke. “I think the vast majority of our caucus understands that doing this saves the state money in the long run. That being said, there are still some whose constituents are opposed to it, and they’re reflecting the views of their voters back home.”
“There are a number of things that we vote on that make certain appropriations in different parts of the state all the time,” said Representative Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee). “We’re here as state legislators. The overall financial strength of the state is important, and that starts with the city of Milwaukee, in my humble opinion.”
The NBA has made it clear that the team will leave Wisconsin if a new arena is not built to replace the Bradley Center, the Bucks’ home since 1988.