Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Assembly Speaker Vos questions Gov. Walker's transportation plan, wants to keep all options on the tableSubmitted: 01/11/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Assembly Speaker Vos questions Gov. Walker's transportation plan, wants to keep all options on the table
MADISON - Republican lawmakers stood dozens of times to cheer during Gov. Walker's State of the State speech Tuesday afternoon.

But many Republicans stayed in their chairs and some kept fairly quiet when Walker talked about how to close a $1 billion gap in transportation funding.

Walker doubled down on his promise not to raise the gas tax or vehicle registration fees.  Instead, he wants to delay some major road projects, borrow more money, and focus on maintenance and safety.


House Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told Newswatch 12 in a one-on-one interview that he respects Walker's pledge, but adds that the governor's ideas don't get to the heart of what needs to be done.

"Under Gov. Walker's plan, it's going to be 70 years before the interstates are rebuilt," Vos said. "Well, they've been around for 70 years. I don't think they're going to last another 70."

Vos says he too made a pledge not to raise taxes, but he said his pledge falls under not raising income or sales taxes. Vos says gas taxes and registration fees are user fees that, unlike general taxes, would go directly to road repairs.

Vos is open to looking at all possible options, including toll roads. But he wants to wait for an audit of the Department of Transportation to come in first, which is expected in the next month or so.

"When the only option is putting it on the credit card, not fixing it, or paying for what we use, I guess the conservative answer for me is to pay for what we use after finding every possible savings," Vos said.

During the State of the State speech, Walker lauded spending about $18 billion on transportation funding over his six years in office. The governor also pledged to provide millions of dollars in funding for counties and towns to make their own repairs.

Vos says all of that money divided between nearly 2,000 towns equals just 53 feet of road repairs for each community.

"Fifty-three feet isn't going very far," Vos said. "That's, unfortunately, going to come at the expense of state roads, so why would you not fix the state roads to fix 53 feet of roads in a town and call that a victory?"

The speaker told Newswatch 12 that he respects Walker, but he called this issue a "blind spot" for the governor. We should learn more about Walker's transportation plans during his budget address in February.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER -
A man fell through the ice while on his snowmobile Saturday in Rhinelander according to the Pine Lake Fire department.

The fire department responded to a report of a man laying on the ice near open water around 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The department says the man fell through the ice near the bridge on Cty W near Birchwood Dr. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander students got to see their former prom dresses sparkle for a second time.
Rhinelander High School's FBLA/DECA hosted its second Prom Expo at the Lund and Taylor Bridal Gallerie.
The expo held a fashion show of new prom dresses available this season.

However, used dresses made their way down the runway too.
"I knew that I wasn't going to wear it again. I'd rather have someone else get to wear it this year rather than it just sitting in my closet," said Rhinelander High School senior Carly Seidl
The store started collecting resale dresses at the beginning of February.
The $5 fee to submit a used dress went to the FBLA/DECA group.
The owner of the dress keeps the profit when it's sold.

+ Read More

RHINEALNDER - The warm temperatures last winter stopped some families from learning how to ski at a clinic in Rhinelander. However, this year a coach and his family couldn't have asked for a better weekend for the programs return.
Michael Bellile was all smiles this weekend. However, that wasn't the case this time last year with his ski class.
"We signed up for it last year too, so we were all disappointed when it got cancelled for the weather," said Bellile's sister Heather.
Low temperatures stopped dozens of families from learning, bonding and skiing together.
"We have perfect conditions this year we just had a fresh snowfall it's was freshly groomed last night," said Bellile. 

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - A 46-year-old Manitowoc man that was reported missing Thursday evening was found in northern Wisconsin on Saturday.

Manitowoc Police said David L. Mellstrom had not been seen in Manitowoc since Feb. 22 around 10 p.m. Police said they had information he was in the Eagle River area yesterday.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A clothing drive in Rhinelander helped nearly 1,000 families stay warm this season.
Warm for Winter gave families the chance to shop every last Saturday of the month since September.
This was the first time Samantha Coleman stopped by Warm for Winter.
She said she's heard about it for the last five years, but went this weekend because her kids are growing out of their clothes too quickly.

"It's really awesome that they do think of other people and their communities, because that's what makes a family. [It's] the community at the end of the day," said Coleman.
The clothing drive had clothes and toys for all ages.

+ Read More

MADISON (AP) - Northern Wisconsin businesses that are having trouble finding employees are hoping to lure retirees to work or keep people nearing retirement on the job longer.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that economic development experts say low unemployment rates, a lack of new workers and a growing number of people on the cusp of retirement have created a major demand for workers.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - People come to Minocqua Winter Park to play in the snow, but there's also a place within the park's 50 miles of trails where people can take a break.

"Of course when I saw the Tea House I fell in love," said Jane Wengert.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here