Gov. Walker's budget to create 200 engineering positions

Move could reduce spending for outside consultants

MADISON, Wis. - Governor Scott Walker wants to create nearly 200 new transportation engineering positions.

The budget Walker released Wednesday calls for adding 180 engineering and engineering support positions within the state Department of Transportation. The governor says the move would reduce costs for outside consultants by $5.6 million annually.

WISC-TV followed the money in May 2011 and found private engineers were often doing state work at a much higher price tag. WISC-TV was told then that steps were under way to remedy the spending.

The practice of shifting state work at the DOT to private contractors began nearly a decade ago. It was costing the state money in 2011, and WISC-TV found it's still going on today, but the DOT secretary said officials were trying to find a new balance of work to save money.

Walker's total transportation budget would be $6.4 billion, a $500 million increase over the last state budget.

The spending plan calls for using a mixture of gas taxes, vehicle registration fees, the state's general fund, the petroleum inspection fund and bonding toward rebuilding Milwaukee's Zoo Interchange and Hoan Bridge, improving harbors, preserving railroad tracks and training new State Patrol recruits.

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