Wisconsin GOP: Governing, One Punt at a Time
“Wisconsin faces a serious challenge in funding and maintaining our infrastructure, and when confronted with that challenge Republicans chose to punt”
(MADISON)- Today in its final meeting on the 2015-17 budget, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance voted on the transportation portion of the budget. Instead of addressing the funding shortfall with a sustainable funding solution as they had originally promised at the start of the budget process, Republicans chose to kick the can down the road with more borrowing and more failing infrastructure.
“Wisconsin faces a serious challenge in funding and maintaining our infrastructure, and when confronted with that challenge Republicans chose to punt,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), “Wisconsin is at a critical turning point. With our traditional sources of income for roads remaining stagnant and the need for repairs and new infrastructure increasing, the need for a budget that is adequate, sustainable, equitable and accountable has never been more important.”
Included in this Republican motion:
- The highest amount of transportation debt service ever.
- Debt services as a percent of transportation revenue has nearly doubled since Governor Walker took office.
- Debt service growth exceeds transportation revenue growth.
Furthermore, Republicans made clear that they would prioritize cuts to necessary infrastructure projects and not consider increasing revenue.
“Sadly this non-solution to the problem has very real consequences,” said Rep. Hintz, “According to Governor Walker’s own Transportation Finance and Policy Commission, the result of Republican’s failure to lead is many fold. Significant deterioration of transportation infrastructure, roads and bridges, planned projects being delayed several years, and transit, rail, harbors and airports becoming inadequate to maintain current service. In short, this Republican budget is a lose-lose-lose for Wisconsin taxpayers.”
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Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement following the adjournment of the 2015-2017 Assembly Session: