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State legislators, representatives address infrastructure needs

State legislators, representatives...

President Trump delivered his plans for the 2019 budget to Capitol Hill Monday morning.

Infrastructure is slotted to receive $1.5 trillion, $200 billion would be funded by the federal government.

However, the rest of the infrastructure plan would be paid for mostly by states and local communities.

Current and former Wisconsin legislators met Monday morning to talk about the state's on-going transportation needs.

The state's infrastructure has suffered for years and representatives say there hasn't been enough done to address the problem. 

"We've got bridges that need to be replaced, we've got roads that need to be replaced and you're looking at all of that, it all costs money and we have to figure out how to take care of it," said republican representative Lee Nerison.

State senator Jennifer Schilling says the state has not been a good partner with local governments when it comes to transportation funding, stressing there is a resistance to increase revenue in the state. 

"At the expense of more and more borrowing which is costing tax payers more money in the long run because of the payment back on the interest side."

The state transportation budget for 2015 to 2017 totaled $6.82 billion.

But the state still couldn't fill a $1 billion deficit, causing last year's biennial budget to be delayed in the state legislature for months.

And the republican-controlled legislature was divided on how to fill the hole. 

Nerison says both parties need to consider all options when it comes to finding a solution. 

"I don't like to raise taxes, but we have to figure out something to do with it and I'd be willing to vote for the raising the gas taxes a little bit for the start."

Schilling says both republicans and democrats have proposed ideas for infrastructure but those ideas have been vetoed by the governor.
 


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