Wisconsin Budget Allows $850M in Project Bonds, Down From $1.3 Sought

AASHTO Journal, 17 July 2015

Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a two-year Wisconsin budget that provides $850 million in bond funding for transportation projects, but is down from $1.3 billion in bonding that Walker had requested early this year.


News reports said the $73-billion 2015-2017 budget allows $500 million in transportation bonds, plus $350 more in contingent general obligation bonding authority that could be tapped later for transportation. Still, the reports said the diminished borrowing level from what Walker requested could delay some highway projects.

A budget breakdown provided by the Wisconsin Legislature Fiscal Bureau said the state Department of Transportation would have total appropriations from all sources of $5.67 billion over the next two years, compared with $6.03 billion in the prior budget cycle.

Various reports also said while some lawmakers insisted on trimming the plan’s proposed borrowing levels, others criticized the cuts in planned transportation investments. And lawmakers from both parties said this budget does not provide the long-term funding WisDOT needs to maintain the state’s highways and bridges and keep up with demand.

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