"I think it's pretty sneaky," said Rep. Christine Sinicki, who supported the Bucks proposal last summer but is leaning toward opposing this latest bill.
"They got the Bucks bill through by taking (the debt collection) out. Now suddenly they're bringing it back," she said.
The controversy over the debt plan has added overtones for the April election in which Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, a supporter of the proposal, faces state Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), an opponent.
Larson and other critics of the debt plan have said it amounts to funding an arena for the Bucks' billionaire owners in part by taking more money from people who often aren't able to pay their current debts. They're also worried about the effect it could have on county offices linked to these debts. Currently, most of this debt is the responsibility of County Treasurer David Cullen and Clerk of Courts John Barrett, who both oppose the legislation.
Abele has said that blocking the debt plan amounts to penalizing people who are paying their property taxes or court fines to help those who aren't.
Under the bill, Abele could act without county board approval to pass most county debts over for collection to the state Department of Revenue, which has additional collections tools.Abele is such a tool.
"Blocking the debt plan amounts to penalizing people who are paying their property taxes or court fines to help those who aren't."
What about all the taxpayers (the majority) that don't want their tax dollars going to billionaire, team owners?
Any politician that signs off on his constituents being on the hook for a new athletic arena is penalizing his constituents.
Debtors need to pay their bills. But if you're a billionaire, just find a compliant politician to push your costs off onto his/her constituents.