Contact: Tony Palese, tony.palese@legis.wi.gov608-266-5490

GOP budget delays trigger 1st phase of transportation shutdown

MADISON – With a budget more than one month overdue, Republican inaction has begun impacting Wisconsin jobs and jeopardizing local transportation projects. As a result of the Republican budget delay, work on three I-94 Zoo Interchange projects have hit a roadblock and construction bids have been delayed indefinitely. Officials have warned that the ongoing Republican budget delay will continue to have an “adverse impact” on transportation projects, increase construction costs and jeopardize the state’s eligibility for federal highway funding.

“Republicans aren’t doing their job and now it’s starting to cost Wisconsin families their jobs,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Without a long-term transportation funding solution, these Republican delays will continue to drive up costs for taxpayers and jeopardize jobs across the state. Rather than more tax breaks for special interests, we need to focus on funding our core priorities like local schools, roads and health care. It’s time for Republicans to stop playing political games and start doing their job.”

Without a new budget, cuts to local transportation aid, state highway construction shutdowns and deferred road maintenance work will have a significant impact on local communities and result in massive layoffs across the state. Gov. Walker introduced his state budget proposal nearly six months ago. Despite having total control of the statehouse and Governor’s office, Republican infighting has prevented progress for weeks. The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee hasn’t met publicly since June 15th. Their failure to complete a budget by the state’s July 1st budget deadline has created uncertainty for Wisconsin schools, families and communities.

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