By Scott Walker
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It is important to maintain Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure. Good roads and bridges are crucial for Wisconsin’s economy, businesses and citizens. Recently, the Department of Transportation provided its 2017-’19 budget proposal, which outlines the transportation priorities for our state for the next two years.
The bottom line is this budget proposal includes greater funding at all levels of local government for roads and bridges, renews our focus on traffic safety and road maintenance, and most important, does not increase taxes and fees for the good people of Wisconsin.
This budget includes the largest year-to-year change in local aids since 1999-2000, including a 25% increase in the Local Road Improvement Program, and a 30% increase in the Local Bridge Program. We will provide more than $672 million in general transportation aids for our municipalities and $212 million for our counties, increases of 4.7% and 8.1%, respectively.
We must be fiscally responsible. The best way to think about the transportation budget is the same way homeowners tackle their projects. If you have a home, safety and maintenance are first and foremost. After that, the remodeling projects get reviewed and prioritized and work starts as we can afford them.