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Sen. Duey Stroebel Shoots Back At Republicans Criticizing Walker’s Transportation Budget

Stroebel Says Critics Are Answering To 'Special Interests'

Car driving over bridge with construction
Keith Srakocic/AP Photo

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed transportation budget has put him at odds with some prominent Republican state lawmakers, but Walker has his allies in the legislature and elsewhere.

Walker’s road budget would not raise taxes or fees, but it would delay several higher projects including ones in Republican-heavy southeast Wisconsin.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, called the plan “a political solution, not a real solution.”

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That’s not to say all Republican lawmakers agree.

Speaking Monday on Wisconsin Public Radio, Saukville GOP Sen. Duey Stroebel shot back at Walker’s Republican critics.

“Well, they’re wrong,” Stroebel said. “And I think that they are answering, quite frankly, to the special interests who advocate for more roads and who make money when we spend more money building roads.”

While road-builders support more revenue for transportation, other interest groups are supporting the Governor, including the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

Last week, Walker said he will keep his promise to not raise fees or taxes without a tax reduction elsewhere.

In response, several GOP leaders in the state Legislature responded, including Vos, who said he spoke to Democrats and Republicans who have said transportation is essential to economic development and hopes for conversations to create long-term solutions.

The state Department of Transportation has proposed a budget that would cut about $447 million from state highway programs while providing about $70 million more for maintenance and giving $65 million more for local governments.

Walker’s administration also would OK $500 million in new borrowing.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has estimated Wisconsin needs $939 million more to pay for road projects the state already approved.