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Legislature’s Finance Committee Poised To Approve Borrowing Plan For Road Projects

Proposal To Borrow $350M Over Next Two Years Faces Uncertain Future In State Senate

road closed sign and two orange barrels
Casey Kelley (CC-BY-NC-ND)  

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee could vote on Wednesday to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for several road projects throughout Wisconsin.

In the transportation budget that lawmakers passed earlier this year, they gave themselves the power to approve or deny $200 million in borrowing this fiscal year and another $150 million next year. Some state Senate Republicans are reluctant to take that step, saying the state is already borrowing too much for roads.

But Assembly Republicans, led by Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair John Nygren, said they support the borrowing.

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“We don’t want to see the projects delayed statewide,” he said. “We think from an economic standpoint they’re important, but also from a safety standpoint they’re important.”

Nygren, with the help of Democrats, might push to approve all $350 million in road bonding at a meeting of the finance committee later Wednesday.

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