Annual Meeting - Register Today!

2017 Annual Meeting
September 20th
Madison Marriott West

Thank you for your support. Together, we have made Wisconsin transportation and how we fund it a primary issue in the Capitol and around the state. This is important groundwork.

No one knows when or how the current budget impasse will end.

We need to build on our accomplishments and continue to make the case for responsible, sustainable transportation investment. Step-by-step and hand-in-hand, it’s how we get there.

Please attend this year’s annual meeting to recognize two outstanding leaders, reconnect with old friends, take stock of where we are and recommit to advancing the best in Wisconsin transportation.

You can register and pay online or mail in your registration form . Please register by September 15th.

Agenda Highlights

Speakers have been invited. Check the website for any additions or changes to this agenda.

PROGRAM 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

A Special Thank You
Rep. Robin Vos, Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly 
Mark Gottlieb, Former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Fiscally Responsible Transportation Investment
Todd Berry, President, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance
George Mitchell, Prolific contributor to Right Wisconsin

Betting on Wisconsin Pays Off
Tommy Thompson, Former Wisconsin Governor 
Just Fix It Update
Raising the Gas Tax Makes Conservative Sense

Right Wisconsin
August 21, 2017

There is a clear conservative case to be made for raising the gas tax. But with the idea dead in 2017-19, why discuss it now? Because the need for new revenue will be even more apparent when a short-term budget agreement is reached. It won’t provide the funds needed to maintain state highways. 

Governor Scott Walker’s opposition to a gas tax hike long ago made this outcome a certainty. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Ernie Franzen explains, current negotiations are simply about “how much to borrow and how much to delay; in other words, how far down the road they’re going to kick the can.”

As a result, in less than two years the Legislature and the governor will face an even longer list of transportation challenges. Outstate roads will be in worse condition. Plans for rebuilding worn-out freeways will remain in limbo (save for possible Foxconn-inspired work in Racine County).  Read more
Deteriorating State of Wisconsin Bridges Adds to Transportation Budget Woes

La Crosse Tribune
August 13, 2017

As lawmakers continue to struggle over how to fund the state’s transportation budget, drivers are contending with bridges that have deteriorated to their worst condition since 2003, according to Federal Highway Administration data.

While the majority of Wisconsin’s bridges are still in perfectly acceptable shape, the average condition of the state’s bridges has declined over the past decade, as have the number of bridges earning the government’s top ratings, a trend highway officials and legislators attribute to stagnant funding that’s failing to keep up with aging infrastructure.

“It all boils down to the fact that we need to look at how transportation is funded, how our infrastructure is funded, and figure out a way that we can eventually broaden that base of revenue so we can keep up with maintenance,” said Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna. Read more
News from around the Nation
New National Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Infrastructure Spending

An overwhelming majority of Americans in urban, suburban and rural communities believe that investing in infrastructure will improve the U.S. economy according to a poll released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

Key findings include:
  • An overwhelming majority (89 percent) of all adults believe that investments in infrastructure will strengthen the U.S. economy, including eighty-six (86) percent of urban and eighty-nine (89) percent of rural Americans.
  • More than eight out of every ten adults (82 percent) agree that investments in infrastructure will increase the number of jobs in their communities, with eighty-four (84) percent of suburban, eighty-two (82) percent of urban and eighty (80) percent of rural Americans sharing this belief. 
  • Americans across the country agree that investments in infrastructure will improve their quality of life (81 percent). This sentiment is equally strong in suburbs or towns (82 percent), cities (80 percent) and rural America (79 percent). Read more
Congress Will Likely Need More Time to Finish Appropriations Process

With about a month until the 2018 federal fiscal year begins and only 12 congressional working days in September, Speaker Ryan says Congress will likely need to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open until the appropriations process can be completed.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), this could prevent state departments of transportation from receiving scheduled increases at a time that many are drawing up project plans and bid schedules for next year.

The delay of the FY 2017 bill not only postponed scheduled formula increases, it contributed to the rolling forward of approximately $1.2 billion of 2017 grants. These grants have been combined with 2018 amounts in a redesigned program now called INFRA .