September 14, 2018
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285
County Board

Hearings focused on mental health, immigration services, clean lakes


After receiving feedback over two evenings of public hearings, the Dane County Board now awaits release of the 2019 executive budget.


“I want to personally thank everyone who took the time to attend the hearings and to the County department leaders who described their budget requests to the Board and to the public,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26, Middleton). “Listening to those we represent is a top priority for this board as part of our ‘Engage Dane’ (https://board.countyofdane.com/Engage-Dane) initiative and we will seriously consider what we heard this week.”


County Executive Joe Parisi is scheduled to release his executive budget to the board by Oct. 1. The public will then have additional opportunities to comment during committee hearings before a final vote of the full board on Nov. 12.


During Wednesday’s hearing, which focused on the Human Services Department, speakers urged the county to be a community partner to keep the Kajsaib House open, which serves the Hmong, Cambodian, and Laotian community. The facility is slated for closure at the end of September.


“Much of the testimony we heard elevated the importance of mental health services and community programming because it impacts so many individuals and families.” said Supervisor Jamie Kuhn (District 16, far east Madison).


Kuhn added “there was also testimony highlighting the heightened need for funding for immigration services as discrimination and increase activities surrounding deportation threatens many of our community members and families.”


“The challenges facing our immigrant community effect all of us.  We do and we will continue to stand with neighbors, coworkers, friends and family.”


On Thursday, the board heard from environmental leaders who urged the county to continue working on improving water quality. That includes implementing proposals from the Healthy Farms, Healthy Lakes Task Force (https://board.countyofdane.com/Healthy-Farms-Healthy-Lakes-Task-Force) designed to reduce the amount of nutrients washing into the lakes.


“The recommendations from the task force came from a broad coalition who all share a concern for protecting our waterways while ensuring the agricultural economy remains strong,” said Corrigan.


In total, the county departments requested $545 million for 2019, with about $300 million expected to come from departmental revenue.

Last year’s operating budget totaled $538 million. 2019 capital budget requests total about $32 million.  The capital budget last year totaled $115 million.