A Wisconsin project to build a $10 billion Foxconn Technology Group plant in the southeast region of the state could reduce road funding for state projects by $90 million, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said in a memo to Democratic lawmakers on Feb. 28. Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (Oshkosh) said the memo “shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker is prioritizing the Foxconn project over repairing roads elsewhere in the state.” The reduction to pay for roads around the project is expected to leave the state highway fund as much as $870 million short of the $2.4 billion the state Department of Transportation said was needed to maintain road conditions for the next decade.
A bipartisan proposal in the Kentucky legislature would raise the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon and impose annual fees on hybrid and electric vehicles in an attempt to jump start the state’s stagnant road fund. The state has a backlog of more than $1 billion in road paving projects, plus at least 1,000 bridges that need to be repaired or replaced, but the fund the state uses to pay for those projects has not increased since 2014. House Bill 609 introduced by Republican Rep. Sal Santoro and Democratic Rep. John Sims would add an extra $391 million a year to the fund.
- updated March 2 to reflect Senate approval.
The Michigan Senate March 1 approved a bill allocating $175 million for roads throughout the state. The money comes from funding that departments didn’t spend last year. Gov. Rick Snyder (R ) recently proposed the additional $175 million for road repairs in the 2018-2019 budget, but lawmakers said they wanted to spend the money now. Democrats reportedly tried to amend the bill, adding an extra $275 million to put it toward road repairs, which would have come from the state’s rainy day fund, but that amendment was rejected.
ARTBA Reports on Economic Impact of Calif. Transportation Investment
California’s 2017 Road Repair and Accountability Act – SB 1 – will generate nearly $183 billion in economic activity and user benefits throughout all sectors of the state’s economy over 10 years, a new study from ARTBA’s chief economist Dr. Alison Premo Black released Feb. 28 shows. The additional demand, in turn, will also support or create an average of over 68,200 jobs per year, adding up to over 682,000 job-years over the next decade—with over half coming in sectors outside of the construction industry. The state’s Republican party, meanwhile, has pledged $200,000 to an initiative drive aimed at repealing the increases to the state gax tax and vehicle fees, while its related campaign continues to collect signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot.