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Joint Finance Committee Restores Funding For Wisconsin Ports

Harbor Assistance Program Pays For Ship Building, Dock Repairs

cargo ship
Randen Pederson (CC-BY-NC-ND)  

The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to restore funding for maintenance and improvement projects at Wisconsin ports.

The Harbor Assistance Program received around $17 million in segregated fees and bonding in the last state budget. That funding was almost completely stripped under Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal. The program helps pay for public and private dock repairs, shipbuilding and more.

State Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, said the committee restored $13.2 million in bonding for harbor projects.

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“The Joint Finance Committee decided to fund the bonding authority for not only the Harbor Assistance Program, but also for some railway infrastructure by pulling back some bonding from the state highway program,” he said.

Milroy said the committee voted to cut back on the governor’s recommended $43 million in bonding for freight rail to provide money for port improvement projects.