TDA Annual Meeting A Celebration, Look Forward
TDA's first in-person meeting since the fall of 2019 was a celebration of the association's 50th anniversary and a look forward.

With President Biden’s signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) on Monday, November 15, the TDA Annual Meeting was well-timed. Secretary Thompson gave an overview of the IIJA and the next steps – federal appropriations and a new federal expenditure plan. He also announced the next meeting of the Transportation Projects Commission will be on December 15.

Additionally, participants heard from Steve Baas, the new executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association. Brian Fraley, president of Edge Messaging, and Bill McCoshen, partner with Michael Best Strategies, kept the audience engaged with their self-moderated discussion about how advocacy is changing. The final panel covered electric vehicles (EV). Debbie Branson of MGE and Neal Callinan with Xcel Energy shared how utilities are rolling out charging stations and preparing for wide-scale adoption of EVs.

The event concluded with the passing of the gavel (see article below) and the awarding of the TDA Transportation Service Award (TSA). TDA presents the TSA to members or public officials who have significantly advanced the cause of a safe, modern, interconnected transportation system in Wisconsin. TDA was pleased to award a TSA to Pat Goss this year for his many years of service to Wisconsin transportation and support of TDA.

Thank you to the speakers, sponsors, and participants!

Click here to view Governor Evers' message on TDA's anniversary and event presentations.
Thank You to our Annual Meeting Sponsors
Federal Update
President Biden Signs IIJA, Congress Passes Stopgap Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown
After months of waiting, the House passed and President Biden signed the five-year, $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) last month. The bill contains $550 billion in new funding, including $284 billion for transportation.

The IIJA incorporates a reauthorization of surface transportation programs along with additional investment in highways, transit, and other transportation infrastructure. The bill provides sizeable increases in state formula funds for highways, bridges, and transit over the next five years. The chart below created by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association includes supplemental, one-time general funds distributed by formula for bridges ($45 million/year) and electric vehicle charging stations ($15.7 million/year).
What’s Next
The IIJA is a complex bill combining several measures and including many new and expanded discretionary transportation grant programs. There is a lot about this bill that is unfolding.

FY 2022 Federal Appropriations
Lawmakers must still ratify the increased IIJA FY 2022 highway and mass transit Highway Trust Fund spending (provide obligation authority) as part of a FY 2022 appropriations package, making spending levels fully available to state and local governments.

Yesterday, Congress passed another short-term continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government at FY 2021 levels through February 18.

New WisDOT Federal Plan
The department will need Joint Finance Committee (JFC) approval to spend the additional money. Under state statutes, if federal transportation aid to be received by the state differs from the amounts estimated for the state biennial budget by more or less than 5%, WisDOT must submit a plan to the JFC for adjusting the department’s appropriations. After the plan is submitted and the committee's co-chairs determine it is complete, it is approved with a 14-day passive review unless the JFC meets and either approves or modifies the plan.
Other News
I-94 East-West Public Involvement Meeting
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is holding Public Involvement Meetings about the I-94 East-West Freeway Corridor Study from 70th Street to 16th Street. The meetings will be in an open-house format with the same information on both nights.

This 3.5-mile segment of I-94 is at a tipping point as its age and ongoing deterioration create significant congestion, safety, and economic development challenges. In April, WisDOT announced it was proceeding with a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) using the most recent data and getting additional public input.

If the long-delayed project to reconstruct and modernize this vital corridor is important to you, please attend one of the meetings to hear WisDOT project updates and provide comments.

December 8, 2021
 State Fair Park, Tommy Thompson Youth Center, Gate #5,
 640 S. 84th St., Milwaukee
 MCTS Route 33

December 9, 2021
 Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources - Milwaukee Office,
 1027 W. St. Paul, Milwaukee
 Connections at nearby intermodal station – via HOP, MCTS Routes 12, 31

Information shared at the meetings will be available on the project website after the meeting. Project comments are due by December 31.

Also, see the Fall 2021 Project Newsletter for information about the project and the process.
Association News
Chris Klein TDA's 2021-2022 President
Last month, Chris Klein was elected the Transportation Development Association’s 45th president at the TDA Annual Meeting. He will serve a one-year term.

Chris is the President and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin. He has over 30 years of experience in government affairs and executive leadership at the federal, state, local, and non-profit level.

He joined the TDA Board in 2019.

Other members of the 2021-22 TDA Executive Committee include:
  • 1st Vice President: Tracy Johnson, Commercial Association of REALTORS Wisconsin
  • 2nd Vice President: Jason Culotta, Midwest Food Products Association
  • Secretary: Jerry Deschane, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • Treasurer: Tim Peterson, James Peterson Sons, Inc.
  • Past President: Mark O'Connell, Wisconsin Counties Association

Thanks to all for their service.
TDA Welcomes New Member
With more than 30 years of experience in government relations, strategic communications and the advancement of public policy initiatives, Goss Ryan Consulting, LLC offers clients a variety of services, including association and board management, government relations, government procurement, strategic communications, and business-to-business marketing.