MADISON – Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement on the signing of 2023 Wisconsin Act 13, previously Senate Bill 247, authored by Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and co-sponsored by Senator Cowles and others:

“The condition of rural roads throughout the 2nd Senate District poses current and future challenges to continued agricultural operations throughout our region. I’ve heard firsthand from farmers in my district about how weight limits impact their routes, how poor road conditions have damaged their equipment, and about how things like rotting wooden culverts may lead to future challenges as the infrastructure isn’t built to stand up for much longer.

“The Agricultural Roads Improvement Program (ARIP), signed into law as Act 13 and accompanied by $150 million in one-time programmatic funding in recent budget actions, will target investments into rural town and county roads that farmers use every day or roads that they’d like to be able to use. Paired with the $12.5 million set aside in the budget for condition assessments of small local bridges and culverts, ARIP funds can be stretched even further as we can learn of new issues statewide in road conditions and fix those issues before it’s too late.

“I want to thank the authors of Act 13, Senator Marklein and Representative Tranel, and the many supporters for getting this bill signed into law. I believe we’ll see the impacts of this proposal for decades to come in our communities and our economy, and I look forward to seeing ARIP in action in Northeast Wisconsin.”