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As I See It

Wisconsin needs road fix

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Wisconsin’s roads are in bad shape. And they are not likely to get better anytime soon. That is why Governor Scott Walker should call a special session of the Wisconsin legislature to figure out a way to pay for the roads we need. Because what we are doing now isn’t working. Wisconsin’s roads are rated as the third worst in the country, according to a new national ranking. In the last session, lawmakers failed to come up with a way to adequately fund the state’s transportation needs, and chose instead to borrow $500 million, kicking the can down the road. That is not a solution. Wisconsin needs a sustainable, long-term funding strategy for transportation, so we don’t have to scramble to figure out how to pay for our roads. Many ideas have been identified, but lawmakers so far have lacked the courage to support them. It is time to revisit those ideas. A higher gas tax, increased vehicle registration fees, even toll roads have all been suggested. None of those, or some combination of them, are popular with voters, but if Wisconsin is really going to be “open for business” we need roads that are safe and drivable. It is time for our lawmakers to summon the political will to tackle what is quickly becoming a crisis.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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