State lawmakers were once again meeting behind closed doors this morning, as the Senate continues work on a plan to provide some public financing for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena. Leaders say the proposal could come to the floor of the Senate for a vote later today.
Republicans are working to drum up some Democratic support for the plan, after several GOP Senators indicated they will not support state tax dollars being used to help fund the $500 million arena. Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) said he remains opposed to that idea, arguing that it’s an issue of fairness. The Green Bay Republican points to the extra sales taxes residents of his district have been paying to help support renovations at Lambeau Field. He said his constituents question why Milwaukee residents can’t “help carry the load,” which is why he plans to vote no.
Sen. Luther Olson (R-Ripon) does plan to back the bill, which could include a surcharge on Bucks’ ticket sales to help pay for the arena. “It makes the people who go to the game pay for the stadium, and I think that needs to get done so there can be enough votes to pass this,” Olson said. “I think it’s fine.”
A spokeswoman for Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said this morning that it’s possible lawmakers could be on the floor to vote on the bill later this afternoon. If the Senate does pass the bill, it remains unclear when the Assembly may return to take up the proposal.
Affiliate WIBA contributed to this report.