Wisconsin governor wants to apply $6.4 billion to transportation

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 3/25/2013

The governor’s proposed budget would put $6.4 billion toward transportation work throughout Wisconsin during the next two years. It would also pay for new state troopers.

Gov. Scott Walker announced the budget plan that includes $824 million in new money. He said that his plan would benefit roads, bridges, ports, airports and rail.

“We are investing in the long term. An efficient, safe transportation system is necessary for growing our economy and creating jobs,” Walker said in a news release.

Funding sources include fuel taxes and vehicle fees, which traditionally pay for transportation work. Because revenue from the traditional sources is declining the governor’s plan also relies on new bonding.

Walker also wants to reroute nearly $100 million from the state’s general fund to help pay for transportation work.

The biggest allocation of revenue would be earmarked for the Zoo Interchange. About $550 million would be routed to the project just west of Milwaukee at Interstates 94 and 894 and U.S. 45 to keep work on schedule.

About 40 percent of the borrowing planned for the project would be paid back with money from the state’s general fund.

Another $236 million would be put toward the Hoan Bridge and Interstate 794 Freeway. Walker touted the project as ensuring convenient access to the Port of Milwaukee.

In addition, law enforcement efforts would get additional revenue. The State Patrol would get $2.7 million to train new recruits to fill vacant positions. Enforcement of weight and size regulations at the Department of Transportation would also be increased.

State lawmakers must approve the proposed budget and send it to the governor to take effect.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Wisconsin, click here.

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