Dane County leaders introduce 2020 budget

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi introduced his proposal for the 2020 budget Tuesday.

Parisi also introduced new county offices to assist with immigration, housing affordability and homelessness.

“My 2020 budget aims to reflect the values of Dane County residents,” Parisi said. “This budget continues our focus on removing the barriers to opportunity and challenges facing Dane County’s more vulnerable residents. We also work to advance our leadership in protecting the place we call home — the lands and waters that mark the uniqueness of being both the fastest growing county in Wisconsin while maintaining an unrivaled focus on conservation and water quality. Paired together, our continued commitment to people and the places they inhabit, work, and recreate inform the priorities reflected in this budget.”

One new office is the Office of Immigration Assistance within the Dane County Department of Human Services. Parisi also hopes to add another full-time bilingual social worker and improve the county’s commitment to Centro Hispano to improve its ability to meet the needs of immigrant kids, parents and families.

At the request of the Dane County sheriff, the 2020 budget includes $3.5 million for renovation work to establish a new southeast precinct in Stoughton.

The budget includes funding for the new position of jail population manager — a role Parisi says will help with reducing a person’s average length of stay in jail.

Parisi’s budget also provides additional funding to programs that focus on facets of mental health, including mental health assistance for the elderly and addiction recovery, among other things.

In total, Parisi’s 2020 budget totals nearly $592 million. Human services initiatives account for the most significant portion of the county budget at a total of $231.1 million.

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