Bike Fed: Statement on eminent domain

Contact Bike Fed Executive Director Dave Cieslewicz at 608-698-4971

Despite being contacted by over 600 Wisconsinites asking him to veto the provision, Gov. Scott Walker will sign the state budget today, including language prohibiting local governments from using eminent domain to build trails, bike lanes and sidewalks.

This is a power local governments have had since statehood. Yet, the legislature and governor took it away from them by slipping it into the budget in the dark of night. No legislator even stood up to take credit for its authorship and there was no debate.

And, of course, when the governor chose not to veto it he offered no reasons.

Ironically, in vetoing another provision in the budget that would have taken away the authority of local governments to regulate quarries, the governor explained that, “I object to inserting a major policy item into the budget without sufficient time to debate its merits.”

That leaves us speechless. Taking away an authority local governments have had since statehood wasn’t a major policy item? Making bike and pedestrian facilities more costly and cumbersome or forcing them to be scrapped altogether didn’t deserve more time for debate? Harming everyone’s safety by not providing more safe places to ride and walk isn’t something the public has a right to weigh in on?

The Bike Fed will ask its members to contact the governor again (over 600 of them already did, asking him to veto this provision) and let him know how disappointed they are in his arrogance.

SHARE