June 22, 2023
By Lane Kimble
A busy week of bill signing for Gov. Tony Evers could mean a busier future for the transportation construction industry.
Evers signed the bipartisan Shared Revenue and Agriculture Road Improvement Program (ARIP) bills into law on back-to-back days during stops in Wausau and Vernon County, respectively.
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The Shared Revenue law will provide municipalities with 110,000 or fewer people with at least a 20% increase in state funding. Many will see increases of hundreds, if not thousands, of percent via a complicated formula that particularly benefits smaller communities.
The money, generated from 1-percent of the state’s 5-percent sales tax, must be used on things such as road improvements, police and fire departments, and other essential services.
WTBA worked hard with several partners to ensure the Shared Revenue package also helps aggregate quarry operators continue to operate successfully and don’t face confusing and overlapping regulations in getting approval and permits for sites. The Association thanks its partners with the Wisconsin Towns Association, Wisconsin Counties Association, and Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin for their support on this work.
Rebuilding rural roads
Meanwhile, the new ARIP law dedicates $150 million of one-time money toward fixing local roads, bridges, and culverts that directly service farms and agricultural producers.
The program will award projects based on the number of farms they would impact and posted weight restrictions.
“(This) came from the people that serve in the Assembly and the Senate,” Evers told Wisconsin Public Radio. “I’m very proud to sign it, and it’s obviously one that’s really important. And over time, it’s going to make a significant difference in the quality of roads in rural Wisconsin.”