April 2017 News & JFI Update 5/1/2017
Just Fix It Update 
May 10th Capitol Day
Madison Club/ Monona Terrace

We need a show of force at the Capitol. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Thanks to all who have participated in the Just Fix It campaign in any way. You were an integral part of starting the statewide dialogue about the condition of Wisconsin’s infrastructure and its impact on Wisconsin residents and businesses. And you kept the issue in the news.

Now we need to keep the issue of sustainable transportation funding in front of our state elected leaders.

Click here for more information.  

There is no fee for the event. Please RSVP by May 3rd - debby.jackson@tdawisconsin.org or (608)256-7044.

Latest Just Fix It Factsheet Highlights States That Have Stepped Up to Fund Transportation

So far this year, four states – Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and California – have passed significant, long-term transportation packages, including gas tax increases, for a total of 21 states since 2013.  Another handful of states have passed recurring investment without increasing this user fee.  

And there is activity pending in other states.

Click here to view the factsheet.
Missed You in Milwaukee

If you were unable to attend TDA's April 24 event in Milwaukee, check out this short video! 
Rough patch ahead: Regional county highway commissioners lament state road funding woes
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
April 9, 2017

As legislators in Madison debate how to fill a $1 billion hole in the state’s transportation fund, cash-strapped local government officials are left with no choice but to use band-aids to patch the potholes riddling the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

n the Trempealeau County town of Chimney Rock and many rural towns, that means saving money by converting once-paved streets into gravel roads.

In Chippewa County, it results in posting weight limits on dozens of deficient bridges to reduce the chances of them collapsing.

For many local governments, it simply means putting off road work they know should be done but can’t afford.

Such is the state of transportation funding in Wisconsin, where officials widely acknowledge the problem but can’t agree on a solution. The issue has caused a public rift between Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature over how to best solve the problem.

“I would like to see a long-term, sustainable funding solution for the transportation fund,” said St. Croix County highway commissioner Tim Ramberg, reflecting the view of highway commissioners throughout west-central Wisconsin contacted by the Leader-Telegram.. Read more

More Wisconsin News
Business Coalition: I-94 East-West a Vital Economic Connection

Some of Wisconsin’s top businesses have formed a coalition to urge lawmakers to keep the I-94 east-west project moving forward in this budget.
The I-94 East-West Econ Connect coalition, which includes MillerCoors, Palermo’s Pizza, Marquette University and many more, held a press conference in advance of the Joint Finance Committee hearing at State Fair Park to highlight the importance of this corridor to the economy of the region and the entire state.

There are 21,000 businesses, 310,000 jobs and 540,000 residents within a five-mile radius of the heart of the East-West corridor.

In a letter to the co-chairs of the legislature’s budget committee, the coalition wrote: “The east-west corridor is the gateway for the products and venues that make our region vibrant and healthy. The beer, pizza, motorcycles and steel that the rest of the world wants begin their journey along this corridor. Millions heading each year to visit Summerfest, the Brewers, Bucks, State Fair or downtown Milwaukee travel this vitally important corridor.”

Check out these I-94 East-West Resources:

News from around the Nation

Trump Tax Plan Silent on Infrastructure Funding 

The Trump Administration released a tax reform plan last week which doesn’t propose to use any of the reform windfalls to fund infrastructure. 

Transportation advocates have long thought that one of the most likely scenarios for funding a federal bill to address U.S. aging infrastructure would come by pairing infrastructure and tax reform.  In recent years, many in Congress have supported using repatriation, or taxes paid when U.S. corporations bring money home, to shore up the cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund.

Trump’s proposal is just the first step and faces challenges as it moves through Congress. Read more

Other News
2017 Appropriations – Congress avoided a shutdown of the government last week by approving a one-week extension of 2016 spending levels through May 5. 

More recent news reports have revealed that appropriators have finalized a budget deal to fully fund agencies through September.

While details of the deal have not been released, states should finally receive scheduled increases in highway and transit funding as provided by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015.
Association News
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  • TDA Annual Meeting: Wednesday, September 20th