Governor Scott Walker is putting the blame for several delayed road projects on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
Democrats are calling for a special session to deal with several delays announced this week by the Department of Transportation, which pushed back the completion dates for five major projects around the state. Asked about the request Thursday during a stop in De Pere, Walker said a special session is not what’s needed. Rather, he called on members of JFC to approve additional road funding that was included in the state budget he signed earlier this year.
Walker said “the projects…are not being delayed because of a budgetary crunch. They’re being delayed because the Finance Committee is not meeting to release the funds for those projects.”
AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker addresses transportation project delays (:41)
Road funding was a major sticking point during state budget talks, with the area among the last to be resolved after a month-long stalemate. Republicans eventually trimmed the governor’s original request for $1.3 billion by about $800 million, although they have the ability to approve an additional $350 million if needed. The governor said his administration will work with GOP leaders to find a way to get the money approved, which he hopes will happen “sometime in the next month.”
Messages left with the co-chairs of JFC, Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), were not immediately returned.
Rick Schuh at affiliate WHBY contributed to this report.