Monday, June 15, 2009

Highway Funding Still Stalls Budget - - With Highway Cuts Off The Table

The power of the highway lobby is so great in Wisconsin that how to keep funding road expansion - - a tax on oil companies that the driving public will pay directly or indirectly - - is one of two issues blocking State Senate budget approval.

Measures like scaling back unneeded highway expansions, such as 70 miles of new Interstate 94 lanes from Milwaukee to the Illinois state line, or the $25 million I-94 Interchange to Nowhere at Pabst Farms' cancelled upscale shopping center, and sending planners back to the drawing board to trim the fat out of the projected $2.3 billion Zoo Interchange reconstruction, would eliminate the need for the added tax collection.

So far, the discussion at the State Capitol is only about how to pay for more roads - - and, of course, the built-in collateral costs, such as maintenance, repairs, plowing and patrolling.

If any other special interest had this much say over billions of dollars in state spending, the word "scandalous" would be routinely used in the reporting.


Anonymous said...

Pabst Farms just hired on lobbyists Marc Marotta and Steve Foti. Don't plan on any stoppages at their hallowed intersection. We might want to watch what these lobbyists with checkered pasts will be up to!

James Rowen said...

If this is accurate information, it looks to me like a classic power move: high-profile lobbyists, one from each party.

The stakes are rising.