Walker says he's not advocating for tolls

Published: Feb. 7, 2018 at 11:42 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Gov. Scott Walker says he's "not in any way suggesting" that he supports toll roads for Wisconsin, and he'd only enact them if there are corresponding tax cuts elsewhere.

Walker reacted Wednesday to Republican legislative leaders repeating their support for tolling as a way to raise money to receive federal money for roads.

Walker says whether it's tolling or raising the gas tax, he would only consider it if there's an equal or greater tax cut.

President Donald Trump last month called on Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan.

Walker says he has "no doubt" that the state will be able to meet whatever federal match is required should Congress pass the bill.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gov. Scott Walker isn't putting the brakes on the idea of tolling on Wisconsin interstates.

But he's also not hitting the accelerator on the idea, either.

Walker's spokesman Amy Hasenberg said Wednesday that any revenue increase to pay for roads in Wisconsin, including tolling, must be offset by a comparable tax cut elsewhere. That's been Walker's position on raising gas taxes for roads, also.

Republican legislative leaders are reiterating their support for tolling in Wisconsin as a way to access federal infrastructure money. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says it's the only revenue-raising idea for roads that will pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

The federal government would have to sign off on toll roads before they could be implemented.

-----------

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson says Gov. Scott Walker should push to create a fund to help the paper-making industry rather than calling for tax credits to keep two northeastern Wisconsin plants open.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. plans to close two Neenah plants as part of a company-wide scale-back. Walker wants legislators to increase job-retention tax credits for the company from 7 percent of payroll to 17 percent.

Nelson, a Democrat, told reporters Wednesday that he's been warning Walker that the paper industry is suffering, noting Appleton Coated, Appvion and U.S. Paper Convertors in Outagamie County have shed hundreds of jobs since last year.

He says the state needs industry-specific strategies beginning with a $30 million fund to help papermakers.

A Walker spokeswoman didn't immediately reply to an email.

------------

Gov. Scott Walker says he's open to giving counties more control over juvenile prisons as part of a plan he's working on with the Legislature.

But Walker told the Wisconsin Counties Association at a meeting Wednesday that all 72 counties must be on board with the plan for it to work. Walker says, "We have to have buy-in across the state."

He says if even one county objects the plan it won't work.

Walker is reiterating that he wants the Legislature to pass a juvenile prison overhaul plan before it adjourns next month that would move juveniles out of the troubled Lincoln Hills-Copper Lake prisons and open five new regional prisons across the state.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he hopes to have an agreement on the juvenile prison plan by early next week.