One of things the next governor will have to address in the new budget is the state's growing and expensive transportation system.
Legislative estimates put the cost of just maintaining the state's roads and highways at 700-million a year. That doesn't include growing the system.
Bob Cook of the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association says the first thing we need to do is work on user fees such as the gas tax and vehicle registration fees. Those user fees make up 95-per cent of the revenue for transportation according Cook and have so for thirty or forty years.
One of the reasons Cook says the state is in this transportation “pothole” is because millions of dollars in user fees have been transferred out of transportation and put into the state's general fund. He also says the cost of materials and other things it takes to build roads and highways has gone up 27-per cent.
Also, gas tax revenues are down, Cook says, because people have been driving less, purchasing fewer gallons of gas due to high prices and pushing those gas tax revenues down.
Cook predicts the governor and legislators will have to make some unpopular decisions to keep transportation rolling in the state.