Other editors say More borrowing just to get by

Print Article

. Wisconsin State Journal

Credit the Legislature's Republican-controlled budget committee for keeping two vital road projects on pace in south-central Wisconsin: the reconstruction of Highway 151 (Verona Road) south of Madison's Beltline, and the expansion of Interstate 39-90 from Madison to Beloit.

Unfortunately, top GOP lawmakers agreed to borrow more than $400 million over the next two years to help make that happen. And they cut $79 million for state highway rehabilitation while delaying some big projects in southeastern Wisconsin.

Overall, the state's road system - already one of the worst in the nation - is expected to further deteriorate under this state budget, according to state Department of Transportation predictions last year that were based on status quo funding.

Gov. Scott Walker is the main impediment to better roads. He has refused to raise the state gas tax or vehicle registration fee, even though they've been flat for the last decade. He also has ignored suggestions from his own DOT for modernizing the state's revenue stream to reflect changing technology.

The closest the budget committee came last week to trying to fix an ongoing funding gap between transportation needs and stalled revenue is a $2.5 million study of open-road tolling on major highways, and higher fees on hybrid and electric vehicles.

Tolling the interstates could bring in tens of billions of dollars over time for better roads, with more money coming from Illinois tourists and over-the-road trucks.

But for the next two years, Republican lawmakers are planning - yet again, and largely at the governor's direction - to punt the state's transportation funding shortfall into the future.

That's irresponsible. ...

So overall, the Republican-run Legislature hasn't come close to fixing its chronic road funding problem. The governor has decided the political advantage of saying "no" to any new taxes or fees affecting most drivers is better than properly maintaining a modern road system for our economy.

He's wrong.

The transportation budget heading to the governor's desk once again dodges fiscal responsibility in favor of political expediency.

Print Article

Read More Editorials

It's a success. Leave it alone.

September 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Yet another go-too-far gun bill has emerged in Madison. SOME MAY REMEMBER that tongue-in-cheek suggestion made when airliner hijackings were almost a common occurrence. It went like this: If you w...

Comments

Read More

It's too important. Talk to each other.

September 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Authoritarian tendencies of the political world poorly serve the people. HERE WE GO AGAIN. Congressional Republicans are making another run at repealing and replacing Obamacare. As regular reader...

Comments

Read More

Has Trump found a way to win?

September 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Get things done that are popular across party lines and watch the polls rise. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY - that is, the traditional Republican Party - never has been a willing bride for Donald Trump and...

Comments

Read More

Respect, courtesy are non-negotiable

September 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm | No need for expensive investigations, but lessons are there to be learned. THE BELOIT SCHOOL DISTRICT did the right thing earlier this week in dismissing without further investigation a complaint ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2017 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X