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Gov. Scott Walker announces transportation funding inside budget plan


ASHWAUBENON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin would spend $6.4 billion on transportation, under the two-year state budget Governor Scott Walker will ask lawmakers to approve.

The Republican governor said Friday during a stop in Ashwaubenon that it includes $824 million in new money.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Walker would actually hold spending around its current levels – because $6.1 to $6.5 billion is spent on transportation now, depending on how the figures are counted.

The paper said it’s impossible to tell if Walker’s planning an increase or a decrease – because he didn’t explain how he counted his numbers.

The governor said he would not propose increases in the gas tax or registration fees. He said some of the state’s surplus could be used, along with expected revenue growth, plus bonding.

Walker said bond repayments could be sped up a number of ways, including the sales of excess state property from previous highway projects.

Walker said over a half-billion dollars would be devoted to repairing the Zoo Freeway interchange just west of Milwaukee at Interstates 94 and 894 and Highway 45. Walker said it would help the entire state because goods could be moved more quickly in and out of southeast Wisconsin.

Another $236 million is planned to keep the re-building of Milwaukee’s Hoan Bridge on time. And billions more would be devoted to a host of roads, bridges, airports, rail, and harbor improvements.

The governor also said he would maintain funding for mass transit. And more recruits would be trained to fill vacant law enforcement jobs in the State Patrol.

Walker will deliver his proposed budget to the Legislature on Wednesday.