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Marinette Rep. Nygren calls for better way to pay for transportation projects

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette)
Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A top state lawmaker says Wisconsin will have to find a better way to pay for transportation projects – but not now.

Republican John Nygren, the Assembly chair of the Joint Finance Committee, says the DOT’s plan to cover a $63.5 million transportation funding shortfall appears reasonable.

The plan, unveiled Monday, includes a delay in the re-building of 2 Milwaukee freeway interchanges – along with less road aid for local governments, and lower spending on Amtrak’s high-speed train from Milwaukee to Chicago.

Nygren says the slow growth in the economy is forcing lawmakers to look at setting priorities rather than raising taxes and fees.

The finance panel is scheduled to review the DOT’s new budget Tuesday.

A Walker task force recommended a variety of revenue-raisers a few months ago – including a new fee based on the numbers of miles people drive.

Nygren says his colleagues will most likely consider the task force recommendations as the economy gets better. But for now, he says it’s not a good time to, “go back to others and ask for more.”