December 15, 2010
Taylor Joins Calls for Plan from Walker On High Speed Rail Contract Obligations
Wisconsin taxpayers may be forced to pay obligations without any product
(MADISON) The loss of federal monies appropriated to Wisconsin for high-speed rail jobs & investment today prompted Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), a member of the Joint Finance Committee, to call for specific planning on contractual obligations from the incoming Walker administration.
“Today I joined with Joint Finance Co-chairs Miller and Pocan, to call on Gov-Elect Walker to issue a plan immediately to the Joint Finance Committee and the public on his plan to repay these obligations stemming from the high-speed rail project. The Fiscal Bureau expects these obligations could reach over 100 million dollars. I would expect that Walker’s plan would not cut vital programs and services to the citizens of the state to satisfy Scott Walker’s first incurring of debt in Wisconsin.” Taylor said.
Taylor noted that the decisions add the contractual obligations to the structural deficit of the state. Either Walker will have to raise taxes or make cuts to other Wisconsin programs to pay for the obligations, unless the administration decides to continue running a structural deficit.
“Either way you cut this one, the Gov-Elect’s political position on the project will lead to more spending in Wisconsin in ways that did not need to happen,” Taylor concluded. “It is unlikely that he will raise taxes, so Wisconsin deserves a plan to show what tax money will be diverted to pay for a project that we will receive nothing for. Wisconsin should expect this to be outlined and made public before the beginning of the year.”
The proposed high-speed rail line would have serviced the citizens of Milwaukee and Madison with stops in between and high-speed service into Chicago and future expansion to Minneapolis. Passenger cars for the project were contracted to be built by Talgo, Inc. in Milwaukee and provide jobs for the local community. Because of Walker’s unilateral decisions more than 5000 jobs will not be created and retained in Wisconsin.