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GOP lawmakers take issue with Governor's transportation funding sources


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - No governor gets everything he initially asks for in the massive state budget, regardless of which party controls the Legislature.

So it’s not surprising that some of Governor Scott Walker’s fellow Republicans are speaking out against a few of the measures he proposed yesterday.

Senate Finance chair Alberta Darling is against Walker’s plan to borrow $824-million for new-and-improved transportation facilities.

Darling said lawmakers could spend more money from the general fund on DOT projects than the $199-million that Walker proposed from that funding source. She also said the state could get more revenue than expected because of a growing economy – and those dollars could be used instead of borrowing for them.

Darling says another option is to delay some projects. But that idea would certainly get opposition from road-builders and lawmakers who’ve been waiting for various projects in their districts.

Both Darling and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos say they’re concerned about the 710 new full-time state employees that Walker wants to add. Vos says he’s biased against expanding the state’s payroll – but if it can be proven that the extra employees save money, he could accept it.

Walker proposed 180 extra DOT engineers and technicians. He says they’re cheaper than private engineers – and it would save taxpayers almost $3 million a year.

In addition, Walker has said he would be willing to work with GOP senators who object to parts of his plan to expand private school vouchers to nine new school districts.