We thank you for your continued hard work and support of transit issues.  On Friday, July 9, the Coalition for Advancing Transit (C.A.T.) released a statement to the media, applauding Governor Doyle and the State Legislature for the inclusion of RTA legislation in the 2009-2011 state budget.  We are sending a similar letter/statement to key state legislators from SE WI this week.

However, while this budget proposal makes significant strides, it does not provide a dedicated regional sales tax to remove transit from the property tax throughout the region.  Our local communities will face funding shortfalls starting in 2010, leaving them with no choice but to significantly cut service and raise fares, creating a further burden on residents, consumers, businesses and others in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Coalition for Advancing Transit is asking its members and partners to join us in supporting the following:

  • That the Governor and our state legislators work to improve upon the foundation set in the budget by enacting separate legislation that will provide the missing elements of a viable, financially sound, regional transit system and adequately fund Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha’s transit systems.
  • That SE WI moves forward quickly with establishing the SERTA board and to support progress on the KRM project.  The FTA application is due this September.

Additionally, the Steering Committee agreed that C.A.T. should hold firm on our “4 Transit Principles” and continue to advocate for:

  • A strong multi-modal transportation system for SE WI that connects people to jobs and travelers to locations throughout the region as an essential part of growing our economy. 
  • Regional coordination around transit, creating a unified voice that can access federal investments to improve regional linkages for jobs.
  • A dedicated funding source for transit in SE WI communities that is stable and can help prevent significant cuts in service.
  • Property tax relief by removing current local transit costs from the property tax and shifting them to a 0.5% dedicated sales tax.

NEXT STEPS….
We know that we have asked so much of our members and partners over the past 6-9 months in terms of reaching out and contacting our elected officials on this issue.  Unfortunately, our work in that regard is not over!  We are asking you to do 2 things:

  1. Call, write or email Governor Doyle.  Thank him for his continued work on transit and support for a regional solution in SE WI – SERTA is an important step forward.  However, don’t lose the momentum – we need to ALSO develop a plan that will provide stable, adequate funding for our local buses so they enhance our regional transit system.  See below for contact links/information.
  2. Call, write or email your state legislator AND/OR the leadership.  Thank them for their continued support of transit in SE WI throughout the state budget process.  Ask them to continue moving forward to work on a legislative solution that will provide stable, adequate funding for our local buses so they enhance our regional transit system.  See below for contact links/information.

The Governor and legislators have already held initial meetings to get this process started, therefore, it is SO important that we let them know we support their efforts and encourage them to get started as soon as possible!   Take 5 minutes out of your day to call, write or email them!  Our efforts to keep transit front and center can only help ensure the vitality of transit operations in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha and allow southeastern Wisconsin to make significant investments that connect our region and enhance our economic development and competitiveness.  We can’t thank you all enough for your continued work on this important issue!!

CONTACT INFORMATION

Governor Jim Doyle: 
By Phone: (608) 266-1212 *   By Fax: (608) 267-8983 
By Mail:         Office of the Governor, 115 E. State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702
By E-mail: Visit www.wisgov.state.wi.us/contact.asp?locid=19 to contact online

Don’t know who your state legislator is?  Visit www.legis.wisconsin.gov and click on the “Who Represents Me?” link in the middle of the page to find your state legislators. After inputting your address, it will bring up their contact information.

Advertisements