Here is an update on the transit-related issue for the Budget Repair bill (SS SB 11), which is scheduled to be voted on today or tomorrow.  Below is an article discussing how this measure could have extremely detrimental impacts on the majority of transit programs, both urban and rural, throughout Wisconsin.  This may not impact Milwaukee, Racine or Waukesha, but it will impact Kenosha and other systems – this would be a huge step backwards for the ability of local communities in Wisconsin to provide transit services.  Even Senator Alberta Darling has stated she would like to discuss/address this before voting on the bill.  

Please take a few moments to call the following legislators, as well as your own, and ask them to consider the impact on transit systems in Wisconsin before voting on the bill:

Read More:  Walker budget repair bill puts $46.6 million annually in transit aids at risk – Federal Transit Aids Get Mired in Budget Bill

Summary:  Under the Budget Repair Bill (SS SB 11) proposed by Governor Scott Walker, transit systems in Wisconsin could lose $46.6 million in federal transit aid.  The federal government is a financial partner in providing public transit services in local communities, ensuring citizen accessibility, safety and service stability.  This long time successful and efficient partnership would be greatly jeopardized or eliminated with the enactment of the budget repair bill under consideration.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:  “The measure by Gov. Scott Walker would strip most union rights away from most public employees. That could put in danger federal aid for buses because U.S. law requires that collective bargaining rights remain in place to get federal funds, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.”

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released a briefing paper outlining the specific risks to Wisconsin communities. They found that some transit systems in Wisconsin would not be affected because they are private companies that are under contract to local municipalities, which means they would not be affected by the labor provisions in the Budget Repair Bill. However, the final result could mean a loss of $46.6 million annually in federal transit aids to Wisconsin.

Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee, wants to address the transit issue before the bill is voted on.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said no changes will be made to the bill to would ensure transit funds are not at risk before it is voted on today.

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