Bucks arena funding deal finally reached? News conference set for 3:15 p.m. in Madison

MILWAUKEE -- A deal may have finally been reached as it relates to funding for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena in downtown Milwaukee. We'll know the answer at 3:15 p.m. when Gov. Scott Walker holds a news conference at the state capitol building. FOX6 News plans to stream the news conference live.

Bucks officials have unveiled plans for a $500 million arena and $500 million sports and entertainment complex that would transform downtown Milwaukee. The entertainment district would be paid for mostly by private enterprises — but the arena requires public funding.

Funding for a new Bucks arena is an issue key players have been discussing for weeks.

Lawmakers in Madison are working to finalize the state's budget, and sources with close ties to the Capitol say there were long talks Wednesday between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Governor Scott Walker.

With Republicans in firm control of the Legislature, they will ultimately decide the state's role when it comes to funding the Bucks arena.

The news of a Bucks announcement in Madison Thursday comes as we're learning some Republican lawmakers are pushing for the financing plan to be left out of the state's budget -- and instead be a stand-alone measure -- voted on separately.

That includes Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin).

"I think the arena should have its own special attention. I think it should rise or fall on its own merit," Lazich said.

Lazich says lawmakers still have yet to see a final funding plan.

"The question is can we do it? Can we afford it? And how do we find the budget to it? I do not think the budget is the path," Lazich said.

The Thursday news conference could mean a funding plan is finally ready. What it involves, and whether it's part of the state budget remain to be seen.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.