Tuesday, April 28, 2009

WisDOT Should Not Be Allowed To Disregard Federal Stimulus Law

Enough is enough:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation wants to designate suburbs in the Milwaukee area eligible for stimulus funding that federal legislation says should be going first to economically distressed areas.

Meaning, in this region, Milwaukee, and to the east, certainly to Racine.

Not To Waukesha County, where the anti-government region now wants all the federal money it can commandeer, and not to places like Germantown, or to other suburbs to which WisDOT seems willing to give priority because projects may be shovel ready.

So are the potholes in Milwaukee's streets - - where people in huge numbers are out of work.

The stimulus bill says:

"Provided further, That in selecting projects to be carried out with funds apportioned under this heading, priority shall be given to projects that are projected for completion within a 3-year time frame, and are located in economically distressed areas as defined by section 301 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3161). . .”
Here is how chapter 42, section 3161, of the U.S. Code defines economically distressed communities that are in larger, non-distressed areas, of which the cities of Milwaukee and Racine, unfortunately, certainly are.
"(b) Political boundaries of areas
An area that meets 1 or more of the criteria of subsection (a) of this section, including a small area of poverty or high unemployment within a larger community in less economic distress, shall be eligible for assistance under section 3141 or 3149 of this title without regard to political or other subdivisions or boundaries."
WisDOT should not be allowed to play fast and loose with the law, and with people's well-being in southeastern Wisconsin's most economically-distressed communities.

Enough is enough.

Some background here.

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