Lawmakers Make Bipartisan Plea For Port Funds

Bonding For Wisconsin Harbor Assistance Program Not Included In Budget Proposal

Courtesy of Wisconsin State Legislature

Twenty-five Wisconsin lawmakers are making a plea to the state’s Joint Finance Committee to restore funding for a program that improves Wisconsin ports.

The last budget included $15.9 million in transportation bonding for the Harbor Assistance Program, which offers grants for dock repairs and dredging. Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal, however, doesn’t provide any additional bonding.

State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, said the program is an economic boon for communities.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Infrastructure improvements in all of the different cities are good for business. It’s good for tourism,” said Tittl.

State Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, said the program also improves safety and connects ports like those in Duluth and Superior to the world.

“We need to make sure that our ports can get cargo in and out quickly,” said Bewley.

A spokeswoman for Walker said his transportation plan “holds the line on taxes and fees” while investing in infrastructure. The budget does include $650,000 for harbor grants each year.