Wisconsin lawmaker wants DOT to stop 'wasting' money

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 9/1/2015

If a Wisconsin state lawmaker gets his way, the state Department of Transportation would stop spending money for “non-essential” purposes.

Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, is preparing to introduce a bill that he says would put an end to the DOT’s “wasteful abuse” of taxpayer money. Specifically, he wants to eliminate spending for installation of highway on-ramp gates, digital message boards and traffic cameras.

He said the ban is necessary to head off plans for additional installations through 2017, which would cost taxpayers millions.

According to figures provided by Kremer, the state DOT spends nearly $200,000 for each overhead digital message board and as much as $15,000 for each on-ramp gate.

Despite their safety features, Kremer said they are too costly and he would prefer to see the money instead be applied to roads.

“I think we owe it to state taxpayers to crack down on waste wherever we find it, and in whatever form,” Kremer said in prepared remarks. “DOT’s wasteful spending in these areas is a prime example.”

The bill could be considered during the fall session or once lawmakers return to the capitol after the first of the year.

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