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Republicans, Environmentalists Find Common Ground Over Roads Funding

Groups Say Senate Republicans Were Right To Vote Against $350M In Borrowing

Doug Kerr (CC-BY-SA)

The debate over how to fund roads in Wisconsin has forged an unlikely alliance between environmental groups and some Republicans who want to slow the state’s borrowing.

On most issues, groups like 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, the Sierra Club and the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group see eye-to-eye with Democrats. However, on a recent road funding decision, they were at odds.

Democrats joined Assembly Republicans in voting to borrow $350 million more for highways. Senate Republicans voted against the move, saying they wanted to see an audit of how the state plans its highways before it borrows to build more.

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1000 Friends of Wisconsin Director Steve Hiniker said that’s exactly the right approach. He said road funding is not a partisan issue.

“Governor (Jim) Doyle and Governor (Scott) Walker would probably agree on spending money for highways. The problem doesn’t know partisan lines,” he said.

Hiniker’s group also praised Republicans last summer when they passed a substantial cut to the highway budget proposed by Walker.

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