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Joint Finance Committee Approves Wisconsin Road-Funding Plan

Republicans Pass Measure Late Tuesday Night

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The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has approved a road-funding plan that would borrow about $400 million, raise fees on electric and hybrid vehicles but not increase the gas tax.

The Joint Finance Committee approved the plan late Tuesday night as it moves to complete its work on the $76 million budget that’s two months late.

Democrats say Republicans have failed by not finding a long-term funding solution for roads. Gov. Scott Walker was steadfastly opposed to raising the gas tax, but he’s signaled support for the $75 hybrid vehicle and $100 electric car fee.

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Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach said that road funding is a bipartisan problem, but Republicans went alone and are only making the state’s problem worse.

The committee’s Republican co-chairs both say they wish they could have done more, but this is a good start.

The GOP plan would also repeal the prevailing wage for state projects, limit local regulation of quarries used for construction projects and study the possibility of interstate tolling years from now.

It passed on a 12-4 vote, with no Democrats in support.