Evers announces $36 million in spending; Republicans criticize



(The Center Square) – There is a new round of criticism for Gov. Tony Evers for his latest round of federal coronavirus spending.

On Thursday, the governor announced plans to spend $36 million on a list of projects.

“These five projects will have a long-term impact on our state’s economy and on economic development in these communities from Green Bay to Janesville,” Evers said in a statement.

The projects include:

● $15 million for the Janesville Sports and Convention Center, which will generate an estimated $23 million in new economic impact to the community, as well as provide a regional venue for in-state athletic events.

● $9.3 million for the Milwaukee Iron District new soccer stadium to transform a long-vacant property and advance both local and state tourism and athletics as well as community offerings at one of the busiest intersections in the state.

● $7 million for the Green Bay National Railroad Museum expansion to meet the growing need for museum offerings, accessibility and immersive programming.

● $5 million for the Bronzeville Center for the Arts, on the site of the former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources building in Milwaukee, which will elevate the history and culture of African Americans.

● $330,000 for the Door County Peninsula Players Theatre upgrades, which will provide safe and modern dormitory facilities for the company that draws nearly 40,000 visitors locally.

The governor’s office says the money is leftover American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

Evers requested all five projects be included in the budget passed last spring, but Republican lawmakers removed them.

Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, took to social media to point out Evers continues to find money to spend, but refuses to sign the multi-billion dollar tax cuts Republican lawmakers have approved.

“Once again, @GovEvers wanted to spend your tax dollars and increase state spending rather than spend the money he had sitting in his wallet,” Wanggarrd said in a tweet.

Rep. Gae Magnafici also criticized Evers for his latest coronavirus stimulus package.

“3 years post-lockdown, and where has the federal relief for Wisconsinites gone?” she asked on social media. “Under Gov. Evers, those funds sat unused while our families struggled. Now, they’re being poured into sports stadiums in Milwaukee, Janesville, and Green Bay. Pandemic relief or misplaced priorities?”

The governor’s office has not said just how much ARPA money Wisconsin has left to spend.



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