Ron Johnson and State’s Infrastructure Decline
He’s regularly voted against federal funding for roads, bridges, railways, airports
Wisconsin’s aging infrastructure is falling apart. A recent study by the Department of Transportation found our roads were the fourth worst in the nation. We need to invest in our roads, bridges and public transit network, but sadly the lackluster state of our infrastructure has fallen on deaf ears.
And it’s not just Republicans in Madison that have turned a blind eye, it’s also Republicans in Washington, especially Sen. Ron Johnson.
Over the past five and a half years, Johnson has voted against bills that would have increased funding for the state’s roads, bridges, railways and airports. In 2012, Johnson voted against authorizing more than $100 billion in transportation funding. Then in 2013, he voted against a transportation bill that included $500 million to repair bridges. For those keeping track, Wisconsin has nearly 2,000 bridges in need of repair.
The quality of our infrastructure costs drivers in Wisconsin. On average, Madison drivers spend $2,000 dollars on car repairs. That’s real money that families who are struggling to make ends meet could sorely use.
At the same time, Johnson’s inaction has stalled our investment in public transit. If you live outside a major city you have no option but to drive, which can be especially difficult for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, public transit is crucial for attracting and retaining young workers who are the backbone of economic growth, which here in Wisconsin has been lagging compared to the rest of the country. Building out our public transportation systems ensures that every Wisconsinite can live with dignity, while at the same time develops the infrastructure that powers 21st century economies.
Chris Taylor, D-Madison, represents District 76 in the Wisconsin Assembly.
This column originally ran in the Cap Times.