The biggest bone of contention in the state Legislature this session isn’t the state budget, but a rather key component.
Transportation has state Republicans who are in control of both legislative houses at an impasse. The consensus seems to be that we need to fund lots of roads and construction, but there’s no agreement on how to pay for it all.
We’ve actually come to the point where toll roads have been floated as a serious option. There used to be a time when such a notion was associated with lunacy.
Legislative surveys resulted in 90% or more of constituents responding they hated the idea. The mere suggestion was DOA in a matter of seconds. Now it’s on the table.
This transportation squabble is a perfect example of elected officials who are simply incapable of acting responsibly with other people’s money. Families struggling with stagnant incomes get it. If you don’t have the cash for a high falootin’ summer vacation, you don’t go. The same thought process should flow through the halls of the state Capitol. However, the thinking seems to be that we’re doomed if we don’t pave everything in sight.
It’s stunning that some in the GOP want increased taxes and fees, to which state Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) has responded:
“I, and many other conservative legislators, did not go to Madison to raise taxes. Before conservatives even consider any increased transportation funding, every last efficiency at the DOT must be identified and implemented and for no reason should we increase the overall tax burden on the taxpayers of Wisconsin.”
That brings us to today’s read. We opened with a discussion about state money. What about local dollars?
Bill Osmulski committed a flagrant act of journalism that you probably won’t see on your 10:00 TV news:
Public officials in Marquette County apparently know how to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to transportation. They have the best roads in the state, while receiving almost the smallest amount of state aid per mile.
Read Osmulski’s complete article here.