Thursday, May 4, 2017

Is it too late to downsize that new WisDOT palace?

[Updated] The small government Republicans running the Wisconsin government showed their true colors when they approved billions in borrowing and spending on new highway construction to be hatched in a shiny new $200 million headquarters for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Madison's trendy West side.

But now Assembly Republicans, having drowned taxpayers in debt and congested state budgets and highways with half-finished projects have come up with a Rube Goldberg scheme to fund what still is unaffordable by re-arranging, cutting, increasing and otherwise complicating multiple state taxes under the bill-drafting leadership of Brookfield State Rep. and allegedly-smartest-guy-in-their caucus Dale Kooyenga,

Kooyenga's plan surprisingly overlooks some innovations, like five-cents-per-gallon gasoline discounts on Ladies' Night Fridays or anytime you can sing for the counter clerk the second verse of the UW Badgers fight song - but does call for laying off almost 189 state highway engineers - - not 188 or 190 or a rounded up 200 - - and transferring their work to ...wait for it...the private sector.

Update - - The plan has a unique shaft for Milwaukee County, disallowing its recent wheel tax designed to help fix the roads which state financing cuts have made worse. Nothing makes legislative Republicans feel better than a special poke in the eye to the state's biggest, Democratically-run urban county.

Hey, it always makes Republicans to take a swipe at public employees and public service, and this time there's a bonus: more money directly to the road-builders who are always good for reciprocity come campaign fund-raising season.

Meanwhile - - who's going to occupy all those offices in the new WisDOT place?

I haven't been to the area for a while.

Is it too late to slice off a few floors?

1 comment:

Mike said...

Laying off engineers will cost the state dearly. Study after study has shown that contracting out engineering services both construction and design costs 30% to 50% more. Secretary Gottlieb asked for and got new engineering positions at DOT for just that reason.