Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said he will veto nearly all of the
money Republican lawmakers set aside in the state budget to begin preliminary
work on part of Interstate 94 near Milwaukee.
Republicans and local officials have been pushing state
transportation officials to begin work on I-94 in western Milwaukee County, one
of the busiest stretches of highway in the state.
The project includes the crossroads of Interstates 94 and
894, and U.S. 45, known as the Zoo Interchange.
Instead of that project, Doyle first wants to rebuild I-94
from Mitchell International Airport in southern Milwaukee County to the
Doyle, a Democrat, informed lawmakers last week he would
veto all but $3 million of the $38 million Republicans designated for
preliminary work on the Zoo Interchange, The Associated Press reported.
He said the money would be better put to use on education than for studies on a
project that won’t begin for at least another decade.
The governor has one of the most powerful veto authorities
in the country. He can strike out words and numbers to rewrite entire sections
of legislation lawmakers send him.
State Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, and other Republicans
are calling for a change of heart from Doyle.
“The administration indicated that it would support our
efforts to fund the preliminary engineering work for the reconstruction on the
Zoo Interchange if we secured the necessary funding. The Legislature did its
part and it is time for Gov. Doyle to honor the commitment made by his
administration,” Stone said in a written statement.
Doyle told local media that was a mischaracterization of his
stance and the $3 million would still allow some work to go forward.