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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 12:01 PM 

Senate passes Fox Cities RTA bill

The Senate today voted 25-7 to pass a bill authorizing the creation of a regional transit authority in the Fox Valley.

All the no votes came from Republicans: Glenn Grothman of West Bend, Neal Kedzie of Elkhorn, Frank Lasee of De Pere, Mary Lazich of New Berlin, Joe Leibham of Sheboygan, Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa.

Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah and the bill’s author, said the measure simply allows the citizens of the Fox Cities to vote to fund mass transit, allowing an elected board to levy taxes and accrue debt. Ellis equated the measure to other pilot projects in specific areas of the state, and said the proposal could alleviate a loss of federal transportation funding due to the region’s population.

“This will help us,” Ellis said.

Dems, meanwhile, called on senators to lobby Assembly members to move forward with the bill. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, has said the chamber will not consider the measure.

“What fairer way is there?” asked Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay. “It’s democracy in action.”

Editor's note: This post has been updated to add Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, to the list of no votes on the bill.


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