A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to save money, and he’s driving at eliminating free state highway maps.
In this economic crisis, it’s important to cut corners wherever we can. So says Republican Assemblyman Brett Davis from Oregon.
“Obviously we’re in an economic recession and the state budget is in difficult times and we have to be wary of spending state money. And I think the most important thing to me is we have to work hard to find as many efficiencies as we possibly can to save taxpayer dollars where it makes sense.”
Wisconsin DOT prints about 2-million maps a year, many of which are free-for-the-taking at state visitor centers. When considering a 62-billion dollar state budget, the two-year savings of 250-thousand dollars doesn’t seem like much, but Davis says every little bit helps. He’s already gotten some criticism from tourism advocates, who believe one has to spend money to make money. Considering tourism is Wisconsin’s third biggest industry, giving out maps makes sense. Davis says he wants to work with folks in the tourism community.
“I’m taking the approach where we are all in this together — families, businesses, tourism centers, etc. We all have to look for ways to get through it. So what we’re trying to do is take the approach that here’s one way that the state can be more efficient but we also want to make sure that tourism is not suffering in any way, shape or form.”
Davis says he’s open to new ideas, such as paying for the maps through advertisements rather than taxpayer dollars, and still promote tourism. Meanwhile, the DOT has a surplus of more than 400-thousand maps in storage, which could be used before any more maps are printed.