2023 Dane County Budget Moves from Personnel and Finance Committee to County Board

November 02, 2022
Dane County Board Chair Patrick Miles, (608) 886-9167
County Board

                                                                                          One more opportunity for public input before November 7 budget deliberations


The Personnel and Finance Committee met last night and considered several amendments to the 2023 Dane County budget, ultimately recommending approval of the budget as amended.


"We’ve appreciated the time members of the public and staff have spent engaging in and supporting the budget process. The budget the Committee is recommending for the full Board's consideration next week represents a balanced approach to addressing the needs and priorities of the County. The input we received reflects the commitment to continue to make Dane County a better place for everyone to live," said County Board Supervisor Elizabeth Doyle (District 1), Chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee.


The amendments put forward by Supervisors include several focused on continuing criminal justice reform innovation, providing housing for people experiencing homelessness, and rethinking healthcare staffing at the Badger Prairie Health Care Center.


Amendments that focus on criminal justice system improvements include:


  • A provision that would change the scope of the jail consolidation project, to design a 5-story tower and prioritize project goals and objectives.


County Board Supervisor April Kigeya (District 15), Second Vice-Chair of the Board states, "The Dane County jail facility should be built with a new call to action to lower disparities throughout the system which will substantially lower the jail population.  A five-story facility will be right-sized for our community."


  • Provide expenditures of $308,623 for jail diversion housing. This amendment provides funds to house individuals experiencing housing insecurity and who are eligible for Jail Diversion and electronic monitoring outside of the Dane County Jail.
  • Preserves the County Executive’s proposed expansion of mental health crisis response with deputy sheriffs while creating a position in the mental health division of the Department of Human Services to explore the establishment of a non-law enforcement embedded mobile crisis response system outside the City of Madison, and also creates a position in Public Safety Communications (effective 7/1/23) to coordinate a response system for such a mobile crisis response system. The amendment reallocates the personnel costs of two vacant deputy positions to cover the cost of the proposed positions.


County Board Supervisor Richelle Andrae (District 11), Chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee said "I'm proud to see that this budget continues our commitment to implementing meaningful reforms in the justice system, as well as addressing the upstream causes of incarceration. We must continue to prioritize this innovation and collaboration moving forward." 


Affordable housing and services for people experiencing homelessness include:


  • Increase funding for the Affordable Housing Development fund by $4,000,000, bringing the total for the Affordable Housing Development Fund to $10 million in 2023;
  • Create the Fair Chance Housing Development fund of $4,000,000, which will support new construction or acquisition and rehabilitation housing projects that market and set aside affordable housing units to individuals or families with a household member who has been involved with the criminal legal system and lacks access to permanent housing;
  • Provide funding of $2,300,000 for Restoring Roots supportive housing project;
  • Fund operations at the Salvation Army Family Shelter on Milwaukee Street in Madison with $700,000;
  • Create a Housing Specialist position to administer the Fair Chance Housing Development fund at a cost of $113,000; and
  • Provide funding for operations of the City of Madison’s men’s overnight shelter.


"Permanent affordable housing is the best solution to homelessness and I’m pleased that this budget recommendation recognizes the growing need. Increased county funding is required just to maintain existing services in our sheltering system. I’m grateful the committee has prioritized our most vulnerable community members to avoid service cuts," said County Board Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner (District 2), Chair of the Health and Human Needs Committee.


Additionally, an amendment was included to reallocate the nurse contracting line and create 2.8 full-time RN positions at Badger Prairie Health Care Center.


"By moving away from nurse contracting to adding full-time positions, I’m confident that increased efficiency and stability will improve the working conditions for staff as well as consistency for residents of Badger Prairie, and we will be able to attract and retain valuable staff," said County Board Supervisor Jeff Hynes (District 5).


Members of the public will have one more opportunity to weigh in on the 2023 budget at a public hearing on November 3rd at 8:00pm. The hearing will follow the County Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on the same night. The hearing and meeting will be held in the hybrid format. Information to register to speak and attend can be found on the top of the agendas: 7:00pm regular County Board meeting, 8:00pm Budget hearing.


"The budget reflects the values and needs of the people we serve. It was great to hear from members of the community as all of the committees did the important work on the 2023 budget. If members of the public have any additional comments or questions, we would like to hear from them on Thursday night," said County Board Chair Patrick Miles.


County Board budget deliberations will begin on November 7 at 6:00pm, and will take place in hybrid format, with the meeting taking place in room 201 of the City-County Building, as well as virtually.