Contact: Rep. John Nygren
Madison – On Thursday, State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) released the following statement regarding newly realized savings at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation:
“It’s great to see the $38 million in additional revenue from gas tax and registration fees will be available for the transportation fund heading into this budget. While only a 0.7% increase in the total transportation revenue, we are committed to ensuring this revenue will be spent wisely.
“It’s also positive to see the department identifying $65 million that can go to additional projects this biennium. I’m curious to review with Legislative Fiscal Bureau to determine whether these savings are the result of reductions in project size or the result of market changes driving costs down.
“The recent DOT audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau showed that project underestimates were a significant contributing factor to our state’s transportation funding problem. While many claim the underestimates are a problem of the past, it’s important to remember that the majority of improvements at the department were enacted under former Secretary Gottlieb. It appears these more conservative estimates will now allow revenue to be redirected to additional projects. Moving forward, I urge the department remain prudent to help ensure our transportation fund doesn’t take another unintended hit.
“As we continue the state budget process, my Assembly colleagues and I remain committed to looking for ways to address our state’s transportation funding issue.”