Walker signs bill targeting Milwaukee board

Law will weaken board powers

Gov. Scott Walker has signed a new law weakening the powers of the Milwaukee County Board.

The bill increases the power of the Milwaukee County executive, reduces terms of county supervisors from four to two years and requires a binding referendum next year on cutting supervisor salaries from about $51,000 to $24,000.

Democrats criticize the measure as a power grab that could result in similar changes being forced on other units of local government across Wisconsin.

Republican lawmakers say the Milwaukee County Board is their only target and that the measure reins in what they describe as an uncontrollable board unwilling to make necessary reforms.

The Republican governor signed the bill Friday in Milwaukee. Walker says the bill’s referendum aspect empowers voters to decide if they want a part-time board.