Reminder 2018 Milwaukee County Budget Input Sessions

This is a reminder that two Milwaukee County Budget Input sessions are scheduled for this week. Monday’s session is at Washington Park Senior Center at 5:30 PM, and Thursday’s session is at McGovern Park at 5:30 PM. RSVPs are requested.

The county budget funds many important services for children and adults with disabilities and older adults, so plan to attend and share your perspective. Here is some background to help you prepare for the Budget Input sessions:

  • Materials from the budget briefing we hosted are posted on the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force web site at:

Here are some highlights of 2018 department Budget Requests, from the Powerpoints shared at our budget briefing:

Highlights from briefing on 2018 Milwaukee County Budget Requests

Paratransit Program and Fare Changes

New Freedom Program Change

  • Since 2009, MCTS has offered free local transit bus rides through the New Freedom bus pass program to individuals who are eligible for paratransit as an incentive to ride fixed route buses for some trips.
  • Free fare increases to $1 per day (same as GO Pass)

Paratransit Fares – 14% increase

  • Increase from $3.50 to $4.00 per one way trip
  • Managed Care Organization ride cost increases from $20.05 to $20.55

Fixed Route Service Program Changes
Fixed Route services:
Transit services in 2018 will be largely unchanged from 2017

  • MCTS seeks to extend PurpleLine (27th Street) to new IKEA store in Oak Creek in Mid-year
  • MCTS seeks to cover more mid-day shift change times on Route 17 (Canal Street)
  • Routes made possible by Zoo Interchange Litigation Settlement agreement funds will end in December 2018 when limited funding is exhausted:
    Route 6 (New Berlin Industrial Park)
    Route 61 (Menomonee Falls – Appleton – Keefe)

Fixed Route Fare Increase

Fare Increases:

  • M•CARD fare increase of $0.25 from $1.75 to $2.00
  • M•CARD lite one and two ride disposable smart card tickets increase from $2 to $2.25 and $4 to $4.25, respectively (note: fare form is not sold to the general public)
  • U-PASS fee for students attending participating universities increases from $45/semester to $50/semester

Capital Budget

  • Seeking Funding to replace 30 buses
  • Facilities Improvements:
    Fixing leaky roofs
    Replacing aged HVAC systems
    Replacing bus lifts in garages

Health and Human Services

  • DHHS Tax Levy reduction of $2m, plus $1.4m reduction for IT central spend
  • MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Initiative partially funding – Housing staff that will assist in diverting individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues from jail to prevention alternatives
  • About 62 new households to receive rent assistance through HUD’s new Housing First Tenant-Based grant for nearly $600,000
  • Safe Haven is converted to new Housing First Permanent Housing Project to place at least 40 homeless individuals into scattered site housing
  • IDAP Participation to be limited to 18 months & anticipated to reduce Tax Levy by $80,000. Note: IDAP Is the Interim Disability Assistance Program which provides adults waiting for a disability determination with a small monthly payment for basic needs, until SSI eligibility is approved or denied. IDAP is an interest free loan and IDAP recipients sign a contract to repay it.
  • State DOC Daily Rate Increases 36%
  • Average Daily Population of 55 (87 - 2017B)
  • Delinquency & Court Services Division will be opening a staff secured 24-Bed Residential Treatment Center early 2018, funded with Youth Aid and Wraparound Milwaukee
  • Small expansion of the Youth Employment Program with additional Case Management Support & new Intensive Monitoring Program for Aftercare Youth

Behavioral Health Division

2018 expenditures for Community Services increase due to the following investments in Community Programs:

  • Increases to the Comprehensive Community Service (CCS) Adult program with a projected enrollment of 1,100 by the end of 2018 and an increase of $5.7m in annual spending.
  • Increase to the Comprehensive Community Service (CCS) Children’s program, administered by the BHD WRAP division, with a projected enrollment of 100 by the end of 2018 and expenditures of $1.7m.
  • BHD continues to support the partnership with the Milwaukee County Housing Division’s initiative to end chronic homelessness with and investment of $1.0m. This initiative was started on July 1, 2015, and has served over 200 individuals as of June 2017.
  • $1.3m investment in Electronic Medical Records Optimization
  • $0.7m for investment in AODA residential services to ensure high quality and accessible treatment to residents.
  • The newly created Intensive Outpatient Program will complement Milwaukee County’s Day Treatment program by providing services to a similar population with shorter lengths of stay at a tax levy savings of $0.6m.
  • $0.1m investment in transportation to ensure clients in need have transportation to make clinical appointments.
  • $0.2m investment to fund the exploration, design, and future implementation of a peer run respite.
  • $0.1m to fund a police officer in West Allis to create a CART team.
  • BHD is investing $.4M to support the integrated system and practice model to transform our system to one in which we will identify, access, enroll, and serve participants and their families in all programs and services available in a coordinated and integrated matter, regardless of where or how they enter our department. This model will yield better outcomes, and in turn, healthier communities.

Aging (copied from budget request)

To mitigate a revenue shortfall of $377,000 and an expenditure increase of $849,000 in 2018, MCDA utilizes the following service alignments:

  • The Department on Aging owns five senior centers to provide senior dining and community engagement services which are funded exclusively by tax levy. MCDA restructures the senior centers’ operations to reduce costs by $200,000.

The Department has four vacant positions. MCDA eliminates these long-term vacancies while realigning work within existing staff.

  • The Department unfunds one Specialist Dementia Care position as there is uncertainty in grant funding to support this job.
  • The Department explores efficiencies in contracts by encouraging competition among various service providers. New request for proposals are planned for various service contracts.

To serve a growing population of seniors in the County, the Department aims to extend its services through the following initiatives:

  • The Department plans to form community and provider collaborations to inform an additional 100 homebound clients of its services by December 31, 2018.
  • The Department provides Alzheimer support services. In 2018, the state revenue for Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Programs will grow by $215,000. Older adults and family members who assist with Alzheimer’s support will have increased opportunities for educational information and related topics that will allow seniors to remain independent in the community.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on August 21, 2017

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