The months of protests over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget and collective bargaining measures around the state Capitol are expected to cost the state more than $8 million to reimburse nearly 200 law enforcement agencies and seven state agencies brought in to provide around-the-clock security.
A Department of Administration breakdown of reimbursement claims shows 196 municipalities from Adams to Wisconsin Rapids are seeking a total of $4,172,853 for assisting with security during the protests in February and March.
That includes $3.8 million for wages and benefits, $110,050 for mileage, $50,268 for lodging and meals, and $185,888 in other costs.
In addition, seven state agencies will be reimbursed $3,915,688 — $1.9 million less than they requested, according to a funding request that DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch sent Friday to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
With the exception of the state Department of Natural Resources, which receives federal funds with certain restrictions, state agencies are only being reimbursed for overtime, not regular hours, the request states. Other state agencies being reimbursed are the Department of Justice, State Patrol, State Fair Park, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside.
In addition, $900,000 in extra security costs incurred by Capitol Police was absorbed by DOA.
In all, the costs for providing additional security in and around the Capitol and the Capitol Square as reported by state and local agencies totaled about $10.9 million, of which the state expects to reimburse about $8,088,541.
Audits have been completed on all but 23 of the 196 local law enforcement agencies and indicate they will be reimbursed for the total amount requested.
The city of Madison, which is asking for $682,842, is among those whose audits have not been completed and have been asked to provide additional information. Those costs include $555,098 for police, $37,719 for fire personnel, $79,148 for Metro Transit and $10,876 for use of the Fire Department’s command center.
In his funding request, Huebsch said any differences between the amounts claimed and actually reimbursed are expected to be minimal.
Debra Simon, city budget and audit manager, said she has submitted detailed information in the format requested by the state, along with supporting invoices.
Protests began Feb. 13 with about 125 people and quickly grew to include a 24-hour presence and as many as 100,000 protesters on Feb. 26, Huebsch wrote, noting that Capitol Police had 21 officers assigned to three patrol shifts in February.