Posted at 3:45 p.m. on July 25, 2017
The Brillion News
MADISON – A large coalition of Republicans in both houses of the state legislature have signed on to legislation which would fundamentally alter the way the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) delivers, finances, and administers state highway projects.
The originating lawmakers say this reform package will result in significant savings to taxpayers which they say is an essential must-have component of a long-term path to fund Wisconsin roads. The audit released earlier this year confirmed that our DOT suffers from years of mismanagement.
Local lawmakers co-sponsoring the bill include Assembly members Paul Tittl (Manitowoc), Ron Tusler (Harrison) and Andre Jacque (De Pere) and Senators Frank Lasee (Ledgeview) and Duel Stroebel (Saukville).
The bill introduces a design-build-finance model, a common delivery method employed by other states to realize significant reductions in construction costs and completion times on road projects. The bill also contains structural reforms to the DOT.
There are 37 Republican co-sponsors in the Assembly and 11 in the State Senate.
“After having a chance to review the audit findings on the State Highway Program, Republicans want to make sure we enact long lasting reforms within this agency and work with Secretary Ross to ensure taxpayer money is no longer wasted,” Sanfelippo said. “This bill modernizes the way WisDOT delivers their projects, brings efficiencies to their operations and gives taxpayers a greater say when it comes to issues like putting in a roundabout or issuing a wheel tax … I invite our Democratic colleagues to join us in this desperately needed reform effort that the audit so clearly pointed out.”