How Governor Evers' transportation plan will affect Northeast Wisconsin

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GREEN BAY, Wis. Governor Tony Evers visited Green Bay Monday afternoon as part of a statewide tour. The Governor was joined by Wisconsin's Department of Transportation Secretary, Craig Thompson at the Green Bay Metro station. Together they addressed transportation plans for Northeast Wisconsin.

Action 2 News reported Governor Evers is proposing an increase in gas tax, heavy truck registration fees and new car titling fees. The Governor also wants to repeal the minimum markup law, which would lower gas prices.

Thompson says that combination is expected to bring in $600-million in new revenue within a two-year span, for road repairs, ports and transit.

State officials say roads have mandatory testing done by the federal government, and results show Wisconsin has some of the worst roads in the country.

"Right now in Wisconsin we have the worst conditions for our state highways in the Midwest by a large margin, and some of the worst conditions in the entire country," said Craig Thompson, WisDOT Secretary.

Thompson says the money from The Governor's transportation plan would go toward fixing state highways in the area, like possibly adding a lane on to Interstate-41 near Scheuring Road in De Pere.

"We've heard about it quite a bit from the businesses in this area,” said Thompson. “It's one of those things that if we could get some more revenue in this budget, that I think we would look very seriously as far as getting as study to look at fixing that."

The added revenue would cover area bus systems and docking centers, like the Port of Green Bay. It would also increase road repair aid to local communities by 10-percent, or $62 million.

"This budget also for things like the Port of Green Bay, it’s going to have more resources in there for that and for the bus systems, they're not even where they were at about a decade ago in terms of funding, so there is funding here to let the bus systems catch up as well," Thompson adds.

Governor Evers’ transportation plan faces opposition. Some say not enough focus is being given to Northeast Wisconsin.

“The fact that The Governor chose to really put a lot more money into a lot of other areas like the train down in Kenosha, or just much more significant increases than what we're talking about for local roads, I mean I think a lot of local officials have told me they felt like it's a bait and switch," said Senator Andre Jacque, (R) De Pere.

Senator Andre Jacque says area officials are telling him they're disappointed Governor Evers' transportation plan lacks local road funding.

"After the budget is proposed, there's going to be all sorts of political posturing, and I get that,” said Governor Evers. “We expect that unfortunately, but at the end of the day I believe that we will be able to get a compromise and solution on this issue."

During Monday’s visit The Governor reminded opposing leaders they've supported gas tax proposals in the past, and roads remain a top priority for Wisconsinites.