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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

 2:18 PM 

Assembly passes transportation fund amendment

The state Assembly has passed second consideration of a constitutional amendment that would ban transfers from the state transportation fund on a 82-13 vote.

The measure, if passed by the Senate unamended this session, would go before the voters in a statewide referendum.

Dems largely supported the resolution, but not before taking some shots at Republicans over other funding issues.

Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Milwaukee, offered an amendment to add other funding sources -- including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the state’s pension fund and money from a national foreclosure settlement -- before withdrawing the proposal.

Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, said the amendment “doesn’t solve all raids,” sending the signal that “highways are more important than schools; highways are more important than health care.”

Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, argued pending mining legislation directs taking seg fund money for GPR just as lawmakers choose to “enshrine” the transportation fund.

“I think it’s insulting to the good judgment of people who make budgetary decisions,” Bewley said.

Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, said the public has overwhelmingly supported the measure through advisory referendums, noting the bipartisan support the amendment received last session.

“They want these funds to truly be used for what they were told they were going to be used for,” Ripp said.


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