Investing in Infrastructure
Protecting and Investing in Wisconsin's Transportation Infrastructure
Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure is a part of our heritage as the dairy state. Many of the state’s industries, from manufacturing to tourism, timber to grain, depend on a healthy transportation system, including roads, bridges, freight rail, ports, and airports.
Businesses across the state depend on a strong transportation backbone. The tourism industry relies on our transportation system to bring people to visit our state’s many tourist destinations. In addition, manufacturing, dairy, and many other industries need a quality transportation system to get products to and from markets efficiently, so they can maintain their competitive edge.
All businesses and their workers, whether a dairy farmer from Wrightstown, a timber company from Hayward, or a dock worker from Superior, need a solid transportation infrastructure to compete in the global marketplace.
The 2013-2015 Budget allocates more than $6 billion to our transportation infrastructure. This significant investment by the state will make major improvements to our highway system and increase spending on harbor upgrades and freight rail. In addition, there are no gas tax increases, no mileage-registration, no fee increases, and there are no scheduled delays for any highway projects.
Funding to local governments will increase in the Governor’s budget. Municipalities will receive a 4 percent increase in General Transportation Aid. County aid will increase from $94.6 million to $98.4 million for calendar year 2015, a 4 percent increase.
Another important part of our state’s infrastructure is the ease of access to high-speed internet service. The new Broadband Expansion Grant will improve access to high speed internet for rural and underserved areas of our state. A one time $4.3 million payment as well as $500,000 annually ongoing will encourages innovative projects to improve the state’s broadband infrastructure. High-speed broadband internet service is required for businesses wanting to expand into new markets and for students, who are interested in digital learning opportunities like the new UW Flex Option.
Governor Walker’s plan prioritizes existing revenue streams, continues to repay the raids on the transportation fund, and makes sensible operational reforms so Wisconsin can continue to invest in its infrastructure.