Gov. Scott Walker released his transportation spending plan Thursday, but his plan would delay upgrades to US 18-151 south of Madison for another two years.
Walker also said he would veto any increase in the gas tax or vehicle registration fee if it winds up in the upcoming state budget unless there was tax relief elsewhere in the spending plan.
“I’m not going to raise the overall tax burden on the people of this state, and if people want to make changes in the budget they need to be mindful of that because not only will I not present it, I will veto any changes made to the budget that add to the overall burden of the taxpayers of this state,” Walker said.
Speaking on WTMJ-AM Thursday, Walker rejected the notion from fellow Republican, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who said the Department of Transportation budget that delays a number of major projects does nothing more than "kick the can down the road for two years."
Walker says the transportation budget provides $65 million more for local governments and commits $605 million for county and state efforts to maintain roads and improve safety. That's about $70 million more than the last budget.
It would cut $447 million from state highway programs and authorize $500 million in new borrowing.
The plan would delay reconstruction of US 18-151 (Verona Road) south of Madison by another two years. The delay means completion of the project would not happen until 2021, instead of 2019 as previously scheduled.
Walker's proposal would continue to fund expansion of Interstate 39-90 from four to six lanes over the next few years.
Assembly Republicans are bashing Walker's plan for funding road projects in the next state budget, saying the proposal isn't a real solution.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and three other GOP state representatives issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying Walker shouldn't delay important state projects because they'll just cost more in the future and lead to dramatic fee or tax increases. They called Walker's plan a political solution, not a real solution.
“I still would like to see a long term adequate sustainable solution for transportation funding,” Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, said. “I think there is still a revenue piece that’s missing from that discussion, whether we can afford to offset it with other tax increases that would be ideal.”