Thank you all who came out or supported our efforts around the Joint Finance Committee hearing on the State Budget this past Monday.  Between the “Save OUR Ride” rally with Milwaukee County Supervisors, our members and partners who assisted with the Bake Sale for Transit and those that showed up to testify, we know your efforts had an impact!

Over 200 people were able to provide their testimony at the hearing but approximately 1,000 people showed up at the hearing to participate.  Many people talked about the importance of transit for them to get to work, school and more and discussed the damaging impacts the proposed budget has for local transit systems.  The Joint Finance Committee ran a tight schedule, ending the hearing around 6:30pm.  This article from Third Coast Digest gives a good overview of what happened at the hearing and the variety of testimony heard.

Special thanks to local elected officials such as County Supervisors Dimitrijevic, Schmitt, Jursik and elect Haas, County Executive Elect Abele and City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for talking about transit and local roads in their testimony!

You can still submit your comments!

If you were not able to attend, or waited for hours and did not get a chance to speak, you can still submit written comments.  We need all transit supporters to send in their comments! Send them by THIS Friday, April 15th:

Be sure to include your full name and snail mail address.  Scroll down for talking points or click here to access our State Budget Action Alert flyer.

If you have a copy of your testimony that you are willing to share – please email it to kristi@uedawi.org or kthomas@transitnow.org.   This can be very helpful as we communicate with legislators and want to share personal stories.

We will keep you updated as the State Budget process continues.  Thank you and we appreciate your support!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

INFORMATION on State Budget Bills AB 40/SB 27 & TRANSIT

The proposed State Budget has serious and detrimental impacts for local transit that will undermine Wisconsin’s economic recovery.  Many people rely on transit for work, school, to shop for food and to get to health care.  Nearly half of all trips made on transit in Wisconsin are for work purposes – keeping people employed, living independently and providing an educated workforce is essential to building a stable economy and reducing government costs.

The following changes to the proposed State Budget will help keep Wisconsin families working and our State economically competitive:

  1. Keep Public Transportation in the segregated Transportation Fund. Moving transit costs to the General Fund, as proposed, would harm everyone as transit would be thrown into a competition for schools, Badger Care, Medicaid and other critical programs in a tough budget.
  2. Reject the proposal to reduce State Aid to local transit systems by 10%. This would undermine already struggling transit systems, and local governments currently do not have the necessary tools to make up the difference.
  3. Fix the unintended consequence of the Budget Repair Bill which would force WI to forfeit $46 million in Federal Transit Aids. Collective bargaining for transit workers is a prerequisite for receiving these funds.  This would slash operating budgets by 30% – 50% in some communities, devastating transit systems statewide.
  4. Focus on “Fix It First” – protect Wisconsin families from continued “Pain at the Pump” and give residents a better return on our hard-earned tax dollars.  The current $5.7 Billion budget proposal gives highway spending a 15% increase and cuts transit spending by 10%.   Transit takes just 5% of the total Transportation Fund but provides so much.
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