JFC APPROVED TRANSPORTATION PLAN IS GOOD FOR MUNICIPALITIES; BUT INCLUDES LIMITATIONS ON LOCAL REGULATION OF QUARRIES
Last week, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) passed an
omnibus transportation budget motion
that would increase GTA funding for municipalities by 10 percent for the second state budget in a row. The motion also includes $90 million in one time GPR spending for local governments to use on street improvement projects. Items in the motion affecting municipalities are summarized below:
General Transportation Aids.
The motion restores the 10% increase in GTA funding recommended by Governor Evers. The motion increases GTA from $348,639,300 to $383,503,200 for municipalities beginning in calendar year 2020. The motion also increases the mileage aid payment for towns by 10 percent from $2,389 to $2,628.
One-time funding for the Local Road Improvement Program
The motion provides $90 million GPR in 2019-20 on a onetime basis for a newly created GPR appropriation to fund local government project costs that would be eligible for program funding under the Local Roads Improvement Program discretionary component to be allocated as follows:
--$23 million for cities and villages
--$32 million for counties
--$35 million for towns
A local project cost match of 10 percent of total project cost would apply to projects submitted for funding under this new program. DOT is to begin soliciting project applications for this funding in 2019-20, and
until the funds appropriated have been spent.
Mass Transit Operating Assistance.
The motion provides a 2 percent increase in mass transit operating assistance to each tier of the mass transit systems for calendar year 2020 and thereafter. The Governor had recommended a 10 percent increase. In addition, the motion did not include $10 million transit capital aid program that the Governor had recommended.
Seniors and Disabled
The motion increases funding for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Specialized Transportation Aids by $1.5 million a year (half of what the governor proposed) and Paratransit by 10%, which is consistent with the governor’s proposal.
Airports, Ports and Rail.
The motion includes $1 million a year for airports - consistent with the amount in the governor’s budget proposal - to implement Next Generation Air Traffic Control Systems.
The motion also includes $30 million in bonding for freight railroad preservation. This is the same amount proposed by the governor.
$45.2 million in support for the Harbor Assistance Program, a $7 million reduction from the governor’s proposal. $35 million for passenger rail improvements, $25 million in SEG funding and $10 million in GPR-supported general obligation bonds. This is $10 million less than the amount proposed by the governor.
Mileage-Based Fee Study
The motion provides $2.5 million for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to conduct a mileage-based fee study. The study is to be completed by December 1, 2022 with a recommendation from DOT to the Legislature by January 1, 2023. The Joint Committee on Finance is to approve, modify, or deny the implementation of the mileage-based fee.
The motion includes provisions limiting the authority of cities, villages, towns and counties to place limits or
conditions on the operations of a quarry. Under the motion, local governments are generally prohibited from imposing regulations that exceed state standards with regard to: blasting, water quality or quantity, and air quality. Local governments are allowed under the motion to apply to the Department of Safety and Professional Services for a variance allowing stricter regulation of blasting. Also under the motion, a local government may: 1) require the operator of a quarry to use best management practices to limit off-site fugitive dust; 2) enforce properly adopted fugitive dust regulations; or 3) suspend a permit for operation of a quarry for a violation of state law or rules promulgated by DNR relating to air quality, if DNR determines that a violation of state statute or rules has occurred and only for the duration of the violation, as determined by DNR.
The motion also expands the Read the
for more information about the quarry preemption provisions.
Contact the following members of the JFC and thank them for supporting the the omnibus transportation motion described above, which provides significant funding increases for local transportation aid programs going to municipalities. (Click on the names for email and other contact information.)