Friday - July 7, 2017 9:03 am

Stakes suddenly higher for new road budget

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The cost of not fixing Wisconsin's roads just went up a lot. Wisconsin lawmakers remain unable to reach a deal on a new state transportation budget, the main sticking point in being able to pass a new state budget. Now there is word that a major Taiwanese company, Foxconn, is considering building a new plant in Southeast Wisconsin, potentially creating as many as 10,000 jobs. But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos points out that company may not choose Wisconsin if the state doesn't repair roads in that area. The company would need better roads to ship all its products, but highway repair and construction on that stretch of I-94 has been delayed by state funding woes. The inference is that those 10,000 jobs aren't going to happen without a sustainable funding plan for our roads. Vos has taken the unusual step of enlisting help from the state's business community, and special interest groups. He has written to them, asking how they would close the shortfall in Wisconsin's transportation budget. But it isn't the job of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, or Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to come up with a transportation budget. That is the job of Wisconsin lawmakers, particularly leaders like Vos. Appealing to outside groups for help isn't exactly a vote of confidence that lawmakers are anywhere close to getting that deal done. If they want those 10,000 jobs, they better reach an agreement soon.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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