The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee needs to come up with budget language dealing with Wisconsin’s huge transportation shortfall, but don’t expect total agreement among lawmakers.
Republican State Senator Jerry Petrowski of Marathon City is the Transportation Committee chairman. He says right now, there is no single transportation budget or bonding plan that has unanimous support. “I think you have different groups, even within the Legislature, that are looking for different things. Personally, I think bonding that the governor proposed, $1.3 billion, is really excessive bonding, and the problem is that you’re putting that debt on, you know, future people to pay for it, and I think we should be paying as we go.”
Petrowski believes there will be a lot of discussion with legislators in both the Assembly and the Senate, and on the Joint Finance Committee trying to reach a compromise. “You know, I think probably this next week, you probably will see some resolution to, you know, coming up with something that everybody can live with. What that number is right now, I couldn’t tell you.”
Petrowski says the budget is far short of what’s needed to handle planned road projects, but they have to be careful not to put off maintenance, which gets more costly when you wait.
The central Wisconsin Senator tells WSAU he believes transportation bonding will be far less than the governor’s $1.3 billion proposal, but not the zero-bonding option mentioned by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos last week.