Walker proposes $6.4 billion for transportation

ASHWAUBENON — Governor Scott Walker was back in our area Friday morning, revealing the transportation portion of his biennial budget.

The governor plans to invest $6.4 billion in transportation needs, up $824 million from his previous budget.

Interactive: Walker's budget proposals so far

Speaking at the Department of Transportation office in Ashwaubenon, Governor Walker says he won't look for an increase on the state's gas tax or vehicle registration fee.

“I just felt it was critically important as we seek to recover from the challenges we've had in the economy here and across the country that we keep more money in the hands of consumers,” said Walker.

Last month a bipartisan commission recommended increasing the gas tax and making the registration fee mileage-based. Commission members said the moves were necessary to maintain current transportation operations in the state.

“They floated some stuff out there that really got some of my constituents upset at the fact they wanted to index the gas tax and charge you according to how many miles you put on,” said State Sen. Dave Hansen, a Democrat from Green Bay.

“The last thing we want to do is add an additional tax burden on people,” said Walker.

“The question is where is that money coming from?” said Hansen. “Because he cut education from universities and the tech schools or medical assistance. That would be my concern is the devil is in the details.”

Governor Walker says the majority of extra transportation money will come from bonding. His office says the rest will come from the general fund and other transit type funds.

“For some of our larger, life-long projects we're doing bonding as historically the DOT has done in the past,” said Walker.

“I think we just have to be careful, not saying road construction, highway building isn't important, but when you have limited dollars, you've got to make sure you're covering your bases in every area,” said Hansen.

The governor says the budget is also set up to keep major Northeast Wisconsin projects on track like Highways 41 and 29.

Walker will be giving his full budget address next Wednesday at the Capitol.

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Wisconsin (change)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
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Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen

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