April 2018 News & JFI Update  4/24/2018
2018 Fly-in
May 22-24

TDA and the Minnesota Transportation Alliance have planned a joint Fly-in. It is really a merging of the best of the two state events. This is a great opportunity to try something new and meet transportation advocates from a neighboring state.

With the transportation debate heating up in DC, May will be the perfect time to go educate the Wisconsin delegation about the needs back home.
Click here for the event brochure and here to register online.

The registration deadline is May 4th. If you have your air and hotel great, but you also need to register.

Make sure you are registered! Check here .
Just Fix It Update
The transportation debate: Critics say Scott Walker’s record on road funding will be an issue this fall

The Cap Times
By Katelyn Ferral, Apr 4, 2018

The orange construction barrels are a summertime nightmare for Tom Diehl.  

Every year they line highway routes to Diehl’s business, the Tommy Bartlett Show attraction in Wisconsin Dells, warning customers from Minnesota and Chicago that more time in the car is ahead.

Despite determining that the Interstate 39/90 corridor would face congestion from escalating traffic, the state halted an effort a year ago to expand the interstate from Madison to Wisconsin Dells, opting to fund other projects.

That decision has come with congestion and means tourists spend less time and money in the Dells, one of Wisconsin’s top-grossing vacation spots. It is becoming a barrier to getting them to come at all, said Diehl, who has worked on tourism and economic development initiatives under Republican administrations for more than 30 years and served as chair of the Governor’s Council on Tourism from 1986 to 1999.

“I can’t tell you the amount of negative comments we are getting from people: ‘We are sick of the orange barrels. We are sick of waiting,’” Diehl said.

Diehl’s frustration is one shared by business owners around the state, Democrats and a contingent of Republican leaders who point to a growing fiscal and infrastructure problem: Wisconsin’s roads continue to get worse as the state spends more of its money on debt interest with no revenue growth in sight. Read More
Other News
MN Voters May Get a Say on Whether Auto Taxes are Dedicated to Roads, Bridges

A measure has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature to amend the state’s constitution to dedicate the sales tax paid for a variety of auto-related services — from oil changes to car rentals — to road and bridge improvements.

If the measure gains traction with legislators and voters approve, more than $250 million collected annually from existing auto parts, leases and rental sales taxes would be used exclusively on the state’s transportation network.

The Senate Transportation and Finance Committee opted to approve the bill in an 8-7 vote. It’s unclear whether the House will take up the measure.

A coalition called Vote Yes 4 Roads has formed to push the measure, claiming 76 percent of 500 Minnesotans recently polled statewide support the notion.

“With a [budget] surplus, we kept hearing from legislative leaders they couldn’t justify raising taxes,” said Margaret Donahoe, executive director of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance. Read more

Association News
Save these Dates
  • 2018 Fly-in: May 22-24
  • 2018 fall forums: September & October (to be announced)
  • 2018 Annual Meeting: Wednesday, November 14