Gov. Tony Evers at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. (Photo by Melina Mara - Pool/Getty Images)
Gov. Tony Evers at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. (Photo by Melina Mara - Pool/Getty Images)

Governor Tony Evers announces new investments to make Wisconsin safer. Meanwhile Republican candidates for governor offer complaints instead of plans.

Governor Tony Evers announced more than $50 million in new federal funds to make communities safer across Wisconsin. How was the Governor able to make such a significant investment? Let’s break it down.  

What’s happening?

Just over a year ago, the American Rescue Plan was passed by Democrats in Congress and signed into law by President Biden. No Republicans in Congress supported the bill. The legislation directly targeted urgent needs in the fight against COVID-19, including economic stimulus checks and federal funding for vaccines. 

The American Rescue Plan also gave Evers the ability to invest in local governments, all of which are facing continued challenges due to the pandemic. From this pot of money nearly $100 million has gone into violence prevention, victim services and criminal justice in just the last six months

According to a release from Evers office, every single law enforcement agency in the state will receive resources to address local community needs, from combatting reckless driving to expanding pre-trial GPS supervision or alleviating court backlogs. 

Why does it matter?

In a few months Wisconsinites will decide who they want to be their next governor. While Gov. Evers is taking action, Wisconsin Republicans are just…complaining.  Listen to any Republican candidate for Governor for more than five minutes and you’ll likely hear them fear mongering about rising crime rates and public safety. What’s missing? Any actual plan for how the state can do more to keep communities safe. 

A perfect example is former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s campaign website. What does it say about public safety? This is it in its entirety:
As governor, Rebecca Kleefisch will defend the men and women of law enforcement and provide the funding needed to keep us safe.”   

Does that sound like a plan?

Long story short

This week’s announcement from Evers made clear that these new investments in public safety will allow local agencies “to address the unique needs facing their communities” and keep people safe. Evers is using the tools available to him to directly address real challenges to public safety exacerbated by the pandemic, while his potential Republican opponents just talk.