December 2017 News & JFI Update  12/21/2017

 TDA Wishes You a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
Just Fix It Update
Assembly Speaker Asks Lawmakers to Get 'Serious' About Raising Transportation Revenues

Cap Times
December 21, 2017

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Wednesday he hopes lawmakers will get "serious" about raising revenues to fund transportation projects in the new year.

The state's two-year budget was completed two months late, in large part due to a months-long stalemate among the Republican majority over how to pay for roads.

The deal they reached — which includes about $402 million in borrowing, new fees for electric and hybrid vehicles, construction delays and a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law — left lawmakers in agreement on one thing: the state still lacks a long-term solution to plug a projected $1 billion transportation funding shortfall.

"I think that we showcased in the last budget that Assembly Republicans are serious about finding a long-term solution. I think we declared victory because of course we have a significantly lower bonding level (than what Gov. Scott Walker proposed and Senate Republicans supported)," Vos said in an interview Wednesday. "The problem is that even with putting in all the reforms — I think we have now put in almost every possible reform that can be done, so now we really have to see where the rubber meets the road, proverbially." Read more

Fiscal Bureau: Foxconn Roads Could Draw $134 Million from Other State Highway Projects

Wisconsin State Journal
December 16, 2017

Wisconsin has converted several local roads near the future Foxconn factory in Racine County into state highways to access state road repair and improvement funding, a new state report has disclosed.

But the move could siphon $134 million from other highway projects around the state, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo.

Gov. Scott Walker says savings from other road projects will help cover those costs.
The Taiwanese manufacturer is already getting $3 billion in state credits, plus $764 million in local property tax incentives to construct a $10 billion liquid-crystal display plant that is expected to employ as many as 13,000 people.

A local utility company also has asked state regulators for a $140 million project to supply energy to the plant, a cost that will be borne by local ratepayers. Read more
News Around the Nation
Record-Breaking 107 Million Americans to Celebrate Holidays Away from Home

AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year.

 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent. Across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving – and AAA projects the same for the year-end holiday period. Read more
Association News
Fly-in 2018 Update

TDA is excited to be planning its 2018 Fly-in to Washington, DC with the Minnesota Transportation Alliance.  The event will likely be May 22-24 . However, the dates will not be finalized until early 2018.

Keep a lookout for registration materials!