WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of legislation reauthorizing funds for federal highway and transit programs nationwide. The measure contains a funding formula that ensures Wisconsin taxpayers will get a fair return on their federal tax dollar for transportation funding, and it also authorizes funding for several key programs Ryan supports and worked to have included that benefit Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.
This legislation, the conference report to H.R. 3, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, is necessary to provide funds for federal highway, transit and road safety projects through 2009. The House of Representatives today passed the conference report by a vote of 412-8. The Senate is also expected to pass this legislation, which was the product of a House-Senate conference committee.
Today’s legislation authorizes $711.9 million in average annual funding for Wisconsin’s highway projects. This is more than a 30 percent increase in funding over the last major transportation authorization legislation that passed Congress. The earlier legislation gave Wisconsinites about a $1.02 return for their tax dollar, when it comes to federal transportation funding. This conference report gives Wisconsin residents an average rate of return of $1.06 per federal tax dollar.
“Congressman Tom Petri, a senior member of the Transportation Committee, deserves a lot of credit for securing a fair and improved funding formula for Wisconsin. This transportation bill will serve Wisconsin taxpayers well in the coming years. It also supports key transportation projects in the First District that will upgrade our roads and transit system. There’s no gas tax increase, and it draws on the Highway Trust Fund – not general revenues – for transportation spending, and it’s fair for Wisconsin gas tax payers,” Ryan said.
This legislation authorizes funding for the following specific projects that Congressman Ryan requested be included in the transportation measure:
I-94 between the Illinois state line and Milwaukee ($7.2 million authorized)
Highway 11 bypass around Burlington ($3.2 million authorized)
I-43 in Rock County ($2.4 million authorized)
Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail (authorized for preliminary engineering funds)
Kenosha streetcar expansion project (authorized for preliminary engineering funds).