Gov. Evers cuts RNC-related funds for Visit Milwaukee by 90% in state budget

Posted at 8:40 PM, Jul 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-06 10:46:38-04

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed off on a two-year spending plan Wednesday, which includes a $1 million state grant to assist Visit Milwaukee during the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC). However, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports that is $9 million less than proposed by the Wisconsin Legislature's finance committee.

The $10 million proposed was to promote Milwaukee as a tourism destination during the convention. A source tells the BizJournal that the Milwaukee 2024 RNC host committee will now have to raise the rest from private sources toward a $68 million goal.

Visit Milwaukee president and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith provided BizJournal with the following comment: “VISIT Milwaukee is grateful to Governor Evers and the state legislature for their support of tourism in Milwaukee and the incredible impact it has on the community this year and beyond.”
On Wednesday, Evers said during his budget-approval message, that the grant to Visit Milwaukee (and one to Discover Green Bay) is “to help capture the attention of the thousands of folks that will attend the 2025 NFL Draft and the 2024 Republican National Convention and to show all the wonderful entertainment opportunities Wisconsin has to offer.”

Evers said, “I am partially vetoing this provision because I object to the Legislature providing this level of funding to Visit Milwaukee when they have failed to adequately fund so many important priorities for our state, from child care to higher education."

Instead, Evers said the $9 million will go to general marketing purposes for the state's tourism industry, the BizJournal reports.

Evers also used his veto powers to scale back a tax cut in the Republican-controlled state legislature's budget and increase school funding for centuries.

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