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1758, 28 Jul 15

Assembly Passes Bucks Deal

Well, I guess they didn’t want to put any more thought into it.

Legislation to provide public financing for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena cleared the Assembly this afternoon on a bipartisan vote, and the bill now heads to the guv’s desk.

The chamber did not make any changes to the bill before the 52-34 vote. Those who voted note included 20 Republicans and 14 Dems.

No one spoke against the bill during today’s debate.

I wanted a few more questions answered, but as it was, I would have voted for it too. It is disappointing that 13 members of the Assembly didn’t show up for work today. Was it just a day of exceptional absenteeism or were some of them hiding from this vote?


1758, 28 July 2015


  1. Steve Austin

    Owen, understand concerns some had but this was a great financial deal for the State even if you don’t care for NBA basketball.

    Of all the economic development schemes and money that the State has poured into things the past 20-years this was the one with an immediate and obvious return. We keep a business HQ here with a $125 million dollar payroll and by next year will have $10.5 million in player salary income tax flowing into state coffers versus the $3.5 million outlay on the bonds. And since most of the Bucks revenues come from national/international sources, these tax revenues aren’t generated with “replacement income” from people who would otherwise spend their money at a movie or restaurant.

    The only ones who have some financial impact are Milwaukee City and Milwaukee County residents but in exchange they get a $750-$1b stimulus project over the next few years which should be a huge positive.

    I’d take more of these type of economic developments if we could find them.

  2. Dan

    If you lived in Ashland, Eau Claire or an Amish farmer, how would that help you?

  3. Kevin Scheunemann


    I’d go further and ask how does it help anyone outside Milwaukee County?

    It will not mean anything to Washington county except a drain if entertainment dollars to Bucks.

  4. insagtman

    Owen – this was an extraordinary session, meaning it was not on the calendar. I’ve quickly learned that in July & August the capitol pretty much shuts down, which also means that those 13 rep’s may very well have had vacations planned. 8 of the 13 paired their votes, which means they traded with someone else not in attendance that took the opposite side of the issue. Of the other 5, I believe 3 of them had a note to the clerk in the official record with their intentions to vote against the bill if they had been in attendance.

    As for the deal for Washington County and out state residents, the math is simple, and we’ve done this before many times. Think of Mercury Marine, U-Line, Amazon, etc., corporate payoffs from government is the way the game is played nationally, and if Wisconsin doesn’t want to play that game, then we will be losers at economic development. I wish it was outlawed in all 50 states, but until that occurs, I believe we have to be a part of it.

    Income taxes paid by the players currently is $6.5 mil per year. The state’s cost for the new arena is $3.5 mil after the ticket fee. This means all residents of the state are at a loss of $3 mil if the Bucks leave, and then we still haven’t addressed the Bradley Center repairs that are needed, which is a state owned building. A part of this deal is the Buck’s will own the BC and the new arena, thus future repairs to either building are no longer a state problem. Just an fyi, the state budget that we just passed had $10 mil in it for repairs to the BC over the next 2 years. The place is a money pit, and it’s not going to become less of one if the Buck’s are gone.



  5. Mark Maley

    I found something I agree with Instagman

    The plague of locusts begins at 8am Today

  6. Mark Maley

    I found something I agree with Instagman

    The plague of locusts begins at 8am Today

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