Janesville75.2°

Local police waiting to be paid for protest aid

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Catherine W. Idzerda
August 26, 2011
Past due.

In February and March, the Janesville and Beloit police departments sent officers to the state Capitol to help with security during the budget protests.


Second notice.

They were joined by law enforcement agencies from across the state. Officers were paid out of overtime budgets.


Please remit now.

They still haven’t been reimbursed.


The state owes the Janesville Police Department $55,078.


“If you asked me in March if we would still be unpaid in August, I would have said that would be unlikely,” Janesville Police David Moore said.


The state owes the Beloit Police Department $31,677.


“It did come out of our overtime budget,” Beloit Deputy Police Chief Tom Dunkin said. “And it is important for us to receive the money back from the state.”


It’s not a question of if agencies will get paid—but when.


They were reassured early on that they would be reimbursed, Moore said.


And they were reassured again earlier this month.


In an Aug. 15 letter, state Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch told local agencies:


-- $10 million had been set aside in the 2011-13 biennial budget for costs associated with security in and around the Capitol.


-- The money was placed in a “supplemental appropriation,” meaning it wasn’t readily available—the Department of Administration can’t just cut a check.


Even though the money has been budgeted for reimbursement, the joint finance committee would have to approve spending it during a “13.10 meeting,” which refers to the statute number covering such spending.


-- The Department received 196 claims from law enforcement agencies and has requested $4.7 million to cover those costs.


A 13.10 meeting of the joint finance committee has not been scheduled, according to a spokesman for committee co-chair Sen. Roberta Darling, R-River Hills.


Scheduling the meeting is not something that can happen overnight. Departments submit the requests, then the Legislative Fiscal Bureau prepares a “paper” or report on all requests, as does the Department of Administration.


The state owes Walworth County an estimated $92,000.


Walworth County Sheriff David Graves is head of the Southeast Wisconsin Emergency Police Services. In that role, he was in charge of coordinating officer response to the state Capitol. He’s also past president of the Badger State Sheriff’s Association and was part of a group that met with Huebsch earlier this year.


“He said we would be paid sometime before December,” Graves said.



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