Wisconsin ag road funding, transportation bill awaits Governor’s signature
The legislation that would fund Wisconsin’s transportation projects including the one-time 150-million-dollar Agricultural Road Improvement Program awaits the Governor’s signature.
State Senator and Joint Finance Committee co-chair Howard Marklein authored the ag roads bill. “The Assembly passed the amended version of that, sent it over to the Senate, and the Senate agreed to the change, the minor change that was requested by the Assembly and so the bill is passed. And so, the bill is off to the Governor now and hopefully, the Governor signs that.” So far, Governor Tony Evers has not commented on if he will sign the package as-written.
And Marklein tells Brownfield he is optimistic those dollars can get to work quickly to improve many of the weight-restricted roads that connect to farm driveways. “As soon as the Governor signs that bill, we should be all set and I’m hoping that the mechanism gets in place relatively soon so we can begin talking about where that money can be deployed.”
Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Kevin Krentz tells Brownfield this funding is badly needed, “to continue to upgrade our rural roads around the state, whether that be the roads themselves or whether that be the structures, those bridges if you will that are smaller than twenty feet that weren’t really covered under some of the federal funding a few years ago.”
Overall, the state transportation budget totals 1-point-55 billion dollars, with 362 million dedicated to local, rural roads. The one-time 150 million for agricultural roads is in addition to another 104 million for local road funds and 7-point-5 million in general transportation aid. The bill also includes funding for state highways, rail and harbor assistance, and public transportation.