Contact: Rep. Scott Allen
Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) today proposed a budget motion which would repeal the current formulas for distributing state general transportation aid to counties and municipalities. The proposal applies the idea of block grants to transportation spending.
“We’ve seen tremendous success with block grants at the federal level because it introduces market factors like competition into government spending,” said Rep. Allen. “The current general transportation aid formula has not been modified in decades, and it has led to the sloppy distribution of road dollars.”
The proposal will allow the Department of Transportation to establish district boards across Wisconsin based on population. Overseeing those boards would be local officials. Those officials would be encouraged to take economic impact into consideration when determining funding. The proposal creates regional parity in local road funding.
“Some roads are crucial to moving people and products, and some may have been busy years ago but now have very little traffic,” said Rep. Allen. “Compared to other states, Wisconsin has a lot of road miles. With our population trends the current aid formula is simply unsustainable.”
As of 2017, Wisconsin was fifth in the nation in road miles per capita. Without significant population growth, revenue from any source will be limited and will not keep pace with inflating road maintenance costs.
The proposal now goes to the Joint Finance Committee to determine whether the idea will go into the state budget. You can read the full proposal and white paper at Rep.Allen.com