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GOP Senators Waiting On DOT Audit Before Moving On Road Funding

Barca Says Transportation Needs Are 'Dire'

Interstate in Milwaukee
Jeramey Jannene (CC-BY)

The Republican leader of the state Senate said his members are unlikely to raise taxes to pay for roads until they learn more about how the state Department of Transportation is managing its money.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told a gathering of the Wisconsin Counties Association on Tuesday that there’s a group of Republican legislators who won’t consider new taxes or fees for transportation funding until they learn more about the DOT.

“They want to know where the projects are. They want to get a better handle on what they cost and they’re not going to move in that direction until that happens,” Fitzgerald said.

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But Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said the state’s transportation needs are dire and there’s no reason to wait to raise revenues.

“I mean, its excuse after excuse,” Barca said. “At some point, we have to step up to the plate and we have to do what we know is responsible.”

Last year, some Republican lawmakers said they’d consider raising the gas tax or vehicle registration fee, only to have the idea scuttled by Gov. Scott Walker.

Legislators are currently waiting on an audit of the DOT.