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Wisconsin State Senate passes Brewers stadium funding bill with 19-14 vote
See our map breaking down how the votes were cast from members of each party.
The Recombobulation Area is a ten-time Milwaukee Press Club award-winning weekly opinion column and online publication written, edited and published by longtime Milwaukee journalist Dan Shafer. Learn more about it here.
The Wisconsin State Senate has voted 19-14 to pass two bills to fund maintenance and upgrades at American Family Field and extend the Brewers’ lease in Milwaukee through 2050.
The bills passed with bipartisan support. Among Republicans, the vote was 11-11, and among Democrats, the vote was 8-3. The vote was the same on both bills.
As you can see in the above map, support for the bill was stronger outside of the Milwaukee metro area than within it. The three Democratic “nay” votes were from state senators from Milwaukee. The Republicans representing districts within or bordering Milwaukee County all voted against the bill.
Assuming the Assembly votes in favor of Senate amendments and Gov. Evers signs the bill — both very likely — this means the Brewers will be in Milwaukee through 2050. The State Senate vote has been widely seen as the final hurdle to getting the deal done. The Assembly’s vote on the bill was 69-27.
The bill will subsidize maintenance and upgrades at the state-owned ballpark, spending more than $350 million in state money, $67.5 million from Milwaukee County, $67.5 million from the City of Milwaukee, and about $150 million from the Milwaukee Brewers. Amendments from the Senate include a ticket surcharge on non-Brewers events, which is projected to generate $36 million over the next 27 years. The bill also includes a reduction to the fees imposed on local governments for collecting sales taxes, which would return more funding to local governments over time. The bill extends the Brewers lease at American Family Field and requires the team to remain in Milwaukee through the life of that lease, ending in 2050.
An amendment introduced before the floor session, regarding inclusion of local input from Milwaukee on Stadium District board composition and an escalating increase in a ticket surcharge on non-Brewers events, was adopted with a 25-8 vote.
An amendment introduced by State Sen. Chris Larson that would have added a ticket surcharge on Brewers events was rejected with a 22-10 vote.
We’ll have more coverage of this vote throughout the day, and we’ll encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Dan Shafer is a journalist from Milwaukee who writes and publishes The Recombobulation Area. He’s also written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Heartland Signal, Belt Magazine, WisPolitics, and Milwaukee Record. He previously worked at Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Magazine, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine, and BizTimes Milwaukee. He’s won 17 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. He’s on Twitter at @DanRShafer.
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