The state Senate’s majority leader has put the brakes on any gas tax increase. That’s been suggested by some Republicans in the legislature as necessary to close a shortfall in transportation funding. But speaking with reporters at the Capitol, state Senator Scott Fitzgerald was pretty clear.
“Not right now,” he said. “I don’t think the votes are there.”
Governor Scott Walker tweeted this week that he’d veto any gas tax increase, and according to Fitzgerald, you can forget any veto override.
“It’s just not part of the dynamic that exists for the Republican controlled legislature to override Governor Walker. That’s not going to happen.”
Transportation funding looks to once again be the most contentious piece, as lawmakers negotiate details of the governor’s two-year state budget.
Fitzgerald also said relationships between UW System schools and private foundations could loom over a proposed increase in state funding for UW. “If the UW System does not make an affirmative and aggressive attempt to clarify the interaction between the foundations and public institutions and UW campuses, I just think it’s going to be in the back of members’ minds when you get to the UW’s portion of the budget and they start talking about how much revenue is going to be in this budget for the System,” Fitzgerald said Thursday.
Fitzgerald called the ongoing questions about foundation support which came to light at UW Oshkosh remains “a dark cloud” in the minds of many GOP lawmakers. Two former UW-Oshkosh administrators accused of illegally transferring millions of dollars to support a foundation’s development projects.