JFC Provides $90M for Local Road Projects, Plus Hike to General Transportation Aids; Also Limits Local Regulation of Quarries
Monday, June 10, 2019
On Thursday night, the Joint Finance Committee voted 11-5 on a transportation package that will:
  • Increase general transportation aids by about $14 million SEG for counties and about $52.2 million SEG for municipalities to fund a 10 percent increase to the general transportation aid distribution for 2020 and thereafter. Also, increase the mileage aid rate by 10 percent for 2020 and thereafter - from its current level of $2,389 per mile to $2,628 per mile for 2020 and thereafter.
  • Provide one-time funding of $90 million for local road improvement projects - $32 million to counties, $22.8 million to municipalities and $35.1 million to towns.
  • Provide $2.7 million SEG in 2020-21 to provide a 2 percent increase in mass transit operating assistance to each tier of mass transit systems for 2020 and thereafter.
  • Limit the authority of local governments to place limits or conditions on the operation of a quarry. Under the budget item, local governments would not be able to enforce their stricter regulations regarding air and water quality relating to quarries above state regulations - or to limit blasting without state approval. Local governments could continue to require pre-blast notifications and other requirements of quarry operators. The provision also would prohibit a political subdivision from enacting an ordinance that prohibits continued quarry operations at a nonconforming quarry site. Local governments could suspend a permit for a quarry operation for a violation of state laws or administrative rules.
  • Increase vehicle title fees by $95, to $164.50.
  • Increase vehicle registration fees by $10, from $75 to $85.
  • Direct the creation of a mileage-based fee study. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation would be required to submit a recommendation on an implementation plan for a mileage-based fee to the Joint Finance Committee by Jan. 1, 2023, a plan that the JFC would be required to approve, modify or deny.
  • Create the Office of Innovation at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and require DOT to administer a pilot program under which up to six contracts are awarded for design-build projects to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2025. The DOT may not expend more than $250 million for the six projects.

Gas tax increases were not included in the package, so the state gas tax will remain unchanged.

State Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) joined Democrats on the committee in voting against the transportation package.
See the transportation motion - attached.
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