Republican Lawmakers Blanch At Milwaukee’s Desired Streetcars


Republican lawmakers have added a plan to the proposed budget aimed at killing a proposed streetcar project in the city of Milwaukee.

The measure would force the city to pick up the cost of moving utility lines for the streetcar instead of passing them on to utility ratepayers. Its sponsor is Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), whose district includes parts of Milwaukee: “Those residents have expressed to me that they are not in favor of this project and do not want to pay for this through higher utility rates.”

Democrats called it an intrusion on local control. Assemblyman Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) says the streetcar is part of a long term plan to grow the city.

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“This is where young people are moving. And not only is the population growing, but young, college-educated people are moving into this area, and this is what they want to see.”

The plan passed on a party line vote. It still needs to be approved by the full legislature and the Governor.