International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139: Walker calls for ‘his own’ transportation study for supportive data

Contact: Roger Putnam
September 26, 2018 262-899-1316

IGNORES EXISTENCE OF HIS OWN WDOT STUDY – CONCLUSION WAS NOT GOOD: Governor, Read Your Administration’s Study, Take Action, Or Watch TV

(Pewaukee, Wis.) – In a stunning admission, Governor Scott Walker said Tuesday, in response to criticism of his leadership on transportation funding issues, that:
“If the media’s now using reports that are paid for by groups as their foundation (for reporting), maybe I should go out and create a group and pay for my own study.”
–Governor Scott Walker
September 25, 2018

The governor need look no further than his own Department of Transportation for that report –Wisconsin Department of Transportation Wisconsin Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy. The Report, released on January 23, 2013 concluded continuing the status quo level of investment will result in serious worsening in the condition and safety of state highways, increased urban highway congestion and reduced service levels for public transit.

“We encourage the governor to read his own transportation report, one he commissioned, that gives him a roadmap of what to do,” said Terry McGowan, president of Wisconsin Operating Engineers Local 139. “Governor Walker has promised to present his transportation budget by September 30th and this report gives him a clear bi-partisan framework for that budget.”

The ten-member citizen commission was created in Walker’s 2011-13 state budget. The Commission included members from the agriculture industry, trucking, local government, engineering, bicycling, transportation and business communities.

The report highlighted the fact that borrowing has increased, resulting in higher principal and debt-service payments. The Commission found that if current trends continue, debt service will consume almost one-quarter of all state transportation revenues by 2023.
The unanimous vote of this bi-partisan commission, calls for additional annual investments of nearly $480 million through 2023 across all modes, including state and local roads and bridges, airports, railroads, harbors, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The report further concludes that that investment must be done without solely relying on borrowing or taking money from funds intended for other purposes like our state K-12 education system.

If the governor does not have time to read his own study, there is an entire half-hour show devoted to the report and its conclusion – Building Wisconsin TV –that includes Walker’s former DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. The show began airing statewide last weekend.

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