Critics of Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal say it will harm transit by focusing solely on highway construction.
At a news conference this morning, Chuck Kamp, General Manager of Madison Metro Transit, said the overall funding mechanism is shifting. He said transit would be moved out of the transportation fund and into the general fund, creating a problem of competition with other services like education.
Another provision may make it harder for communities to make up the difference. Steve Hiniker, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, said the budget results in a “double whammy.” Walker is capping the property tax levy, which could be raised to make up for the 10-percent cut in state dollars for transit.
Additionally Hiniker says the general fund is being tapped for highway projects. “The other thing the Governor has said is that ‘roads pay for themselves, transit doesn’t.’ If roads pay for themselves, why is he going to the general fund for additional funding for roads?”
During his campaign, Governor Walker said strong highways are necessary to encourage investing companies that rely on the transportation infrastructure.