Thursday, July 5, 2007

Assembly GOP To Shovel State Money To The Road-Builders

GOP assembly members, many of whom never met a budget-busting new highway plan they didn't love, are expected today to put something like $160 million in new funding into their version of the 2007-'09 state budget for highway spending.

They'll do it by backing vehicle registration fees - - now there's a tax/fee/revenue enhancer that a good Republican can get behind! - - and tranferring millions in funding for education and other programs that Gov. Doyle has sustained with money once ticketed for the state's bloated highway budget.

Millions, billions for new roads (the unfunded portion of the southeastern Wiconsin freeway system expansion is in the billions), but K-12 and universities, ah, who needs 'em when there is concrete to pour?

And the Assembly GOP'ers will also kill Doyle's effort to tax oil industry profits for a reasonable contribution to Wisconsin's highway spending, forcing transfers of funding away from non-highway purposes to highway purposes.

It's a misprioritized loop, concocted by some loopy legislators who are driving in circles.

If the Assembly GOP gets its way, the state budget will be a special-interest document to serve the oil companies and road-builders.

In turn, Big Oil and the concrete-heads will reward their legislative patrons at election time, rest assured.

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