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As I See It

Lawmakers should take former Governor’s advice and start talking now

Scott Robert Shaw



One of the many difficult decisions Wisconsin legislators will have to make as they consider the Governor’s budget proposal is how to best fund road work in the state. Governor Evers has proposed an increase in the state’s gas tax of 8 cents a gallon as a way to raise money for needed road repairs. Republicans who control the Legislature apparently aren’t keen on that idea, but have yet to reach consensus within their party. A former Governor is offering some advice for those lawmakers. Start talking now is the advice from former Governor Tommy Thompson. Tommy says our lawmakers should start talking now, rather than waiting until June when the budget is due. As Tommy points out, the heat of summer will not make reaching consensus any easier. Which makes us wonder, why does the Wisconsin Legislature schedule so few days of floor sessions, when bills are formally introduced and voted on? According to the legislative calendar, Wisconsin lawmakers will only meet in a floor session in Madison for two days in May, then be in session for most of the month of June, or until the budget is passed. There is no reason to wait until then to start trying to find common ground. The closer they get to the deadline, the more pressure there will be. The more time they spend on it, the more likely a deal that everyone can live with will get done. As Thompson points out, starting talks now is just common sense. But that seems to be in short supply in Madison.

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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    April 24, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Hi Scott, all those taxes and fees are not going to fix our city streets, county roads or state highways under Governor Evers proposal the money goes to mass transit in Milwaukee and Madison and more mega projects in SE Wisconsin. It’s time our Democrat representatives get with their governor and explain that a 10% increase in local road aids does little. Walkers last budget was a 22% increase and he agreed at the county association here in La Crosse to restore the 30% funding level. Why would rural Assembly Reps and state senators vote to raise taxes when the money wont go to fix their roads?

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