Transportation

Addressing the Shortfall in the Transportation Fund
Governor Walker’s budget proposal fails to present a serious long term plan for addressing the shortfall in the transportation fund and instead relies on $1.3 billion in bonding to pay for state highway construction projects over the next 2 years. The League is urging the Legislature to pass a state budget that includes long term, sustainable transportation revenues capable of adequately funding state and local transportation needs now and in the future.

General Transportation Aids
The Governor’s budget funds the 4 percent increase for general transportation aids approved in the 2013-15 budget scheduled to take effect in 2015.

Transit Operating Assistance
The Governor’s budget fully funds the 4 percent increase for transit aids approved in the 2013-15 budget and scheduled to take effect in 2015.

Transportation Facilities Economic Development & Assistance Program
The Governor’s budget Increases funding by $2,000,000 annually for the transportation facilities economic assistance and development (TEA) grant program, which provides grants to local governments for transportation infrastructure improvements related to local economic development projects. Specify that the state's maximum cost share percentage on a TEA program grant would be increased from 50% to 80%. Annual grant funding would increase from $3,402,600 to $5,402,600.

Harbor Assistance Program
The budget bill significantly reduces funding for DOT’s Harbor Assistance Program. The program is usually funded by a combination of segregated transportation fund dollars and general bonding authority. In the 2013-2015 budget, the program was funded by $1.3 million in segregated dollars and $15.9 million in bonding authority. The Governor’s budget bill, retains the $1.3 million in SEG funding, but entirely eliminates the bonding authority. So, the total amount proposed for the biennium is $1.3 million. [The League opposes the cut in funding for this program.]

Transportation Alternatives Program (Bike & Pedestrian Paths)
The Governor’s budget deletes $1,000,000 annually in state funding for the transportation alternatives program (TAP). Under current law, state funding for the program can only be used for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Base level federal funding of $7,049,300 annually would remain for the program.

Repeal of Provision Requiring Construction of Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities
The Governor’s budget repeals the statutory provision requiring DOT to ensure that bikeways and pedestrian ways are established in all new highway construction and reconstruction projects funded in whole or in part from state or federal funds.

Prohibiting Use of State Funds on Community Sensitive Design
The Governor’s budget prohibits DOT from funding aesthetic improvements on state highway projects sought by communities, generally referred to as community sensitive design. The prohibition would first apply to a project for which an agreement between the state and a local government related to community sensitive solutions has not been entered into as of the general effective date of the state budget bill.