Budget Committee Denies Train Funding

The Legislature’s budget committee has denied a request by state transportation officials to keep funding on track for a permanent train maintenance facility in Milwaukee.

The Joint Finance Committee on Wednesday denied the request on a party line vote.

The state’s Department of Transportation had requested $2.5 million in bonds to cover costs associated with the final design of a facility to service state-owned passenger rail cars by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo for use on the Hiawatha line that runs between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Former Gov. Jim Doyle signed a 2009 contract for the deal. It says the state would assume the cost of maintaining the equipment.

Republican lawmakers criticized the overall long-term costs involved with the deal. Democrats warned breaking the contract could trigger litigation.