November 2, 2011
SENATE APPROVES ELECTED MILWAUKEE COUNTY
COMPTROLLER, BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR HISTORIC ACT
Taylor’s bipartisan bill creates new fiscal watchdog to help restore trust
(MADISON) Sen. Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) applauded the Senate’s approval of the Milwaukee County Comptroller Act (SB 259) tonight on a bi-partisan 21-10 vote. The bill would create the office of the County Comptroller in Milwaukee County – a non-partisan, elected office to be first elected in April 2012. Taylor authored the bill with Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), Rep. JoCasta Zamarrippa (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee)
“The Milwaukee County Comptroller will be a non-partisan fiscal watchdog for the county that is elected by the taxpayers,” Taylor commented on the Senate floor. “Independent from the county board and the county executive, this new comptroller will be charged with advising and providing recommendations to the board and executive on fiscal matters. This new office is a huge step to restoring trust in the county’s fiscal position and proposed legislation.”
The Comptroller’s office will combine functions housed in the executive branch of Milwaukee County and the County Audit Bureau in the County Board. In addition, some functions of the County Treasurer will merge and parallel in the office of the Comptroller. This new independent office will be elected for the first time on the April 2012 ballot. The Controller must be a Certified Public Account or have a higher degree in Finance to be eligible for the office.
“This new office is not a political one. It is an office designed for a finance professional to be elected to give solid advice and provide clear, accurate data on fiscal matters in the county without being beholden to the board or the executive. Milwaukee County will benefit from an independent voice for advice on financial matters.” Taylor concluded.
Supporters of the bill overcame objections to procedural actions on a 24-8 vote to ensure the bill was passed through the Senate today. The Assembly is expected to take the bill up on Thursday. Enactment of this law is necessary before November 15 to place the new office on the April 2012 ballot.
Taylor worked exhaustively with fellow authors to address concerns on the bill and achieve the wide bi-partisan support for the bill which was evidenced on the final vote today.