The Latest: Budget committee signs off on GOP roads plan

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Republican action on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ roads budget (all times local):


10:25 p.m.
Republicans who control the Legislature’s finance committee have voted to erase the transportation portion of Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget and replace it with their own plan.

Evers’ proposal called for pumping an additional $623.7 million into road work, largely through increasing the gas tax by 8 cents per gallon and raising heavy truck registration fees.

The finance committee stripped the governor’s plan from the budget and inserted their own proposal on an 11-5 vote Thursday night.

The GOP proposal doesn’t raise the gas tax but it does increase title fees by $95, increase the $75 registration fee most car owners pay to $85, impose a new $75 fee on all hybrid vehicles and shift revenue from the petroleum inspection fee the state imposes on every gallon of gas to road projects.

The plan also would limit spending on security for Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the state’s first African American to hold the post.

Overall, the Republican plan spends about $184.6 million less on roads than Evers’ proposal.
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8:20 p.m.

Wisconsin Republicans’ road-funding plan contains language limiting security for Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Barnes is the first African American to hold the post in state history. He had nine more hours of security protection during his first two months in office than his Republican predecessor had all of 2018.

It’s not clear why Barnes is receiving so much more protection. The Wisconsin State Patrol protects state dignitaries. A patrol spokesman says the decision to provide more security for Barnes was made by the patrol and Gov. Tony Evers’ office.

Republicans on the Legislature’s finance committee introduced changes to the transportation portion of Evers’ state budget on Thursday night. The revisions including prohibiting the Department of Transportation, which runs the state patrol, from spending more on security for the lieutenant governor in the 2019-21 biennium than in the 2017-2019 biennium.
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5:15 p.m.

Republican lawmakers have ironed out a plan to fund road repairs.
Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Alberta Darling, co-chairs of the Legislature’s finance committee, told reporters Thursday that the panel will scrap Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed transportation budget and replace it with an alternative plan.

The new plan increases transportation funding by $483.7 million, less than the $623.8 million Evers proposed. It raises title fees by $95 and the $75 registration fee most vehicle owners pay to $85. It also authorizes $326 million in new borrowing.

Evers’ proposal calls for raising the gas tax by 8 cents per gallon. The Republican plan includes no gas tax increase.
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3:25 p.m.

The Legislature’s finance committee has yet to convene to vote on the transportation portion of Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget.

The committee was scheduled to convene at 1 p.m. Thursday. But Republicans are still trying to reach agreement on revisions to Evers’ proposals. The committee start time was pushed back to 3 p.m. But as the clock approached 3:30 p.m. the committee still hadn’t met. It was unclear when it would convene.

Evers has called for increasing transportation funding by $623.8 million over two years. His plan includes raising the gas tax by 8 cents and increasing registration fees for heavy vehicles by 27 percent.

They plan to scrap the gas tax increase and are considering raising the $75 vehicle registration fee by $10 as well as an infusion of cash, additional borrowing, title fee increases, toll roads and higher hybrid vehicle fees.

Road funding has long divided Republicans. The issue delayed passage of the last budget in 2017 until September.
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11:30 a.m.

The Legislature’s finance committee is scheduled to vote on the transportation portion of Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget.

Evers has called for increasing transportation funding by $623.7 million over two years. His plan includes raising the gas tax by 8 cents and increasing registration fees for heavy vehicles by 27 percent.

The finance committee is scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to revise Evers’ plan. Republicans control the panel. They plan to scrap the gas tax increase and are considering raising the $75 vehicle registration fee by $10 as well as an infusion of cash, additional borrowing, title fee increases, toll roads and higher hybrid vehicle fees.

Road funding has long divided Republicans. The issue delayed passage of the last budget in 2017 until September.
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This story has been updated correct the new revenue Evers’ budget would put into transportation to $623.8 million, not $608 million.
 

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