Wisconsin governor calls for special meeting to address homelessness funding

Wisconsin governor calls for special meeting to address homelessness funding
Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch
Gov. Tony Evers during his inauguration ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Jan. 7, 2019.

Gov. Tony Evers called on leaders of the Joint Finance Committee Monday to hold a special session this week for funding to address homelessness.

In a hand-delivered note to co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren, Evers said he submitted a request in July to have the committee provide more than $3 million a year for homelessness initiatives, specifically referencing those recommended by the Interagency Council on Homelessness in its 2019-2020 Statewide Action Plan for housing grants and loans, shelter for homeless grants and other program operations and services.

In his 3rd attempt to get funding for programs to address homelessness, ⁦@GovEvers⁩ calls on co-chairs ⁦@SenDarling⁩ & ⁦@RepNygren⁩ to hold a special meeting to discuss/take action on releasing the money. Evers is asking for more than $3mil a year. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/9axC0otFhn

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) December 16, 2019

“The proposal was sent to the Joint Finance Committee in July, specifically to avoid the current situation,” Evers wrote. “The Wisconsinites most vulnerable to the harsh winter are going without the services and assistance they desperately need during the coldest months of the year.”

Evers called on the leaders to hold a special meeting on Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. to discuss and act on the funding request.

The Joint Finance Committee passed a bill in May that would allocate $3.25 million a year to the efforts, but the legislation stalled in the state senate. Evers wrote a letter in November asking for the leaders to release the money before winter set in, but the committee declined to release the money while the bills were pending.

Democratic lawmakers Rep. Evan Goyke, Rep. Chris Taylor, Sen. LaTonya Johnson and Sen. Jon Erpenbach sent a letter to the co-chairs in support of the governor’s efforts.

“We ask the committee to convene as called for by Governor Evers, and approve the urgently needed resources supported by advocates, families, citizens across the state, and members of this committee to help those who do not have a place to call home this winter,” they wrote.

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