MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new report shows that police departments across Wisconsin saw their budgets cut and number of sworn officers reduced before the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and the national “defund police” debate.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum report released Tuesday says the data suggests that cutting police and fire department budgets is less about a deliberate attempt to defund them and more about confronting difficult fiscal realities.
The report comes after Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature that would have cut state aid to communities that reduce police budgets.
Gov. Evers said he vetoed the because he objected to the restrictions it put on Wisconsin local governments to set their budgets.
“I am vetoing this bill because I object to the onerous restrictions it imposes on the ability of Wisconsin local governments to set their budgets…Rather than help with the fiscal constraints that local governments are experiencing, this bill seeks to micromanage local decision-making. Local governments and local elected officials are well-positioned to make informed decisions about what is best for their communities and how to meet the needs of the people they serve and represent,” wrote Gov. Evers.