Plans to build a high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison continue to draw fire from Republicans.
The $800 million plan has become a major issue on the campaign trail for the GOP, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker this week launching a campaign ad and petition website against the project. Both Walker and his primary opponent, former Congressman Mark Neumann, have said they’ll stop the project if they’re elected.
State GOP Chairman Reince Priebus says the people of Wisconsin don’t want to cover the cost of something few will use. He describes the project as a “financial hell on wheels” that Democrats are continuing to push, despite strong opposition to the project.
Supporters of high speed rail say the line would provide a better connection between Madison and Milwaukee, also reducing traffic on the roads.
The state has already received funding for the project and Democrats argue that it will be too far along to stop if a Republican wins back control of the Governor’s Mansion this fall. Priebus says that, even if the state has to pay back some of the money for stopping the project, it’s still better than saddling taxpayers with the long term costs of maintaining high speed rail in Wisconsin for decades to come.