May 10, 2017

Contact: Sen. Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Highway Project Accountability Bill Passes the Senate

MADISON- Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Co-Chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, issued the following statement after 2017 Senate Bill 85 passed the Senate during today’s session:

“With Senate Bill 85 passing the Senate, we are one step closer to further accountability and transparency in our transportation design and construction. The audit revealed an unacceptable trend of under-estimating the cost of major highway projects during enumeration, and today’s unanimous approval of the bill proves that my colleagues and I are serious about ensuring full cost estimates when conducting business with taxpayer dollars.”

Senate Bill 85 and Assembly Bill 142 translates four recommendations from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s Report 17-2 on the State Highway Program into legislation. The bill requires the Department of Transportation to include all associated costs with major highway projects in enumeration, include the cost estimate at enumeration in its semiannual reports, regularly report information on the ongoing costs to the legislature, and consider a cost-benefit analysis before undertaking a proposed major highway project.