Appearing before the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association today, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett outlined his transportation vision for our state, and made clear that he will not wait for adoption of a constitutional amendment barring raids of the state transportation fund to ensure we invest properly in our transportation infrastructure.
"Past raids on the transportation fund by Democrats and Republicans alike have created a crisis in maintaining our infrastructure that affects every corner of the state," said Barrett. "I don't need an amendment to stop the transportation fund raids. As governor, my budget will not raid that fund -- you have my word."
In addition to ensuring that the transportation fund will be used only for transportation investments, Barrett outlined his transportation vision for Wisconsin -- identifying the core principles that will guide policymaking in his Administration:
* Adopt a fix-it-first approach. Just like families don't put an addition on their homes when the roof has holes in it, we need to focus on fixing our infrastructure that needs repair -- especially when the state faces a $2.7 billion deficit and resources are stretched thin. Our local roads, streets, highways and bridges are in desperate need of repair, and countless studies have called for their repair. Deteriorating infrastructure must be the next Governor's priority, and Tom will ensure we invest in the transportation networks that need repair now.
* Take the politics out of transportation policy. As governor, Tom will re-activate the Transportation Projects Commission and ask it to perform a complete inventory of the current transportation projects slated for construction. Coincidentally, the TPC is today convening for the first time in over eight years -- a long overdue meeting. The TPC will develop a ranking criteria based on real transportation needs to take the politics out of the current system. By relying on evaluations, analysis, and real statistics, we can determine which projects need actual prioritization. Tom will also work to require the Legislature receive TPC approval, so the appropriate process won't be circumvented to support political pet projects.
* Develop a real long term plan. Tom will continue the work of the "Road to the Future Committee" to develop a long-range, multi-modal transportation plan that positions Wisconsin for the 21st century. Tom will lead this committee in a serious debate on future infrastructure investments, including an honest discussion of how it will be funded. Under Tom Barrett, Wisconsin will no longer say yes to future spending without a finding an honest way to pay for it.
Tom Barrett has long fought for a balanced, multi-modal approach to transportation that invests in infrastructure to create jobs and move people and commerce. As mayor, he supported the reconstruction of the Marquette Interchanges, the Zoo Interchange and the I-94 North-South Corridor.
As Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom has increased capital funding for street reconstruction and resurfacing by 63%, generating jobs and protecting critical infrastructure. His opponent, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, increased Milwaukee County's similar investments by a mere 17% despite widespread reports of deteriorating County infrastructure. Walker has also failed to identify where he would find the dollars for his $1.8 billion tax giveaway to the wealthy and the privileged - putting in jeopardy the future of the state transportation fund. Already facing a $2.7 billion structural deficit Walker's reckless proposal would explode the fiscal crisis to a whopping $4.3 billion.
The Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin is a statewide nonprofit organization working to promote understanding of the crucial role that a safe, efficient and reliable transportation system plays both in providing mobility for the people of Wisconsin and in driving the growth of our state's economy
To learn more about the Barrett plan to create jobs please visit www.barrettforwisconsin.com/jobs.