Tuesday, September 5, 2017

GOP-led Legislature could suspend Milwaukee freeway expansion

We'll see what happens as night falls on Madison and budget-dealing-in-the-dark can take hold, but there are indications that freeway work that wasn't free has run out of funding in the Zoo Interchange and, further, the billion-dollar-plus boondoggle also known as I-94 East/West connecting the Marquette Interchange and the FUBAR Zoo Interchange will not proceed, either.

Remember that Walker was bs-ing while whistling past this graveyard of dead plans just last year. When are people going to learn that you can't trust this guy, period.

The good news is that the billion-dollar-plus boondoggle was headed for a lifetime's worth of litigation, and the Zoo Interchange expansion, pushed without dedicated funding by Walker since 2003, can remain a visible, teachable moment about what can happen when politicians with an eye on the election cycle calendar while being indebted to road-builders get into things like $6.4 billion worth of highway planning that is way above their pay grades.

And politicians like road-builder friend State Sen. Alberta Darling, (R-River Hills) who are kvetching over the suspension of unaffordable 'freeway' projects in and around Milwaukee should take a long hard look at her support for Foxconn and the quarter-billion dollar Interstate highway expansion and rebuilding to serve it which GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos made sure was in the Foxconn project.

These highway projects now taking a back seat to what Vos made sure to nail down for Foxconn likely to be in or adjoining his district won't be the only public spending delayed, derailed, discounted or flat out drained because Foxconn needed the money, and Walker's DNR will keep the permits coming or rubber-stamped "Approved" without review required because that weakened agency won't put at risk all the spending which Walker and his legislative cronies, like Darling, are getting ready to bet, blind.

Just like it's hard to be in two places at once, it's impossible to spend the same millions of dollars on highways in two different parts of the state.

Public Finance 101.

Foxconn 101, here.

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