Monday, February 21, 2011

Current Wisconsin budget bill endangers $43 million in federal transit funding for Wisconsin communities

One of the little known aspects of the current budget repair bill - SB11 - is that medium-sized cities in Wisconsin could lose all federal transit aid. 

From a press release by Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton):

According to the Federal Transit Act, continued receipt of federal transit aid “requires the continuation of any collective bargaining rights that were in place when the employer started receiving federal funds.” Special Session Assembly/Senate Bill 11 strips away these employee rights, which will result in a loss of $46.6 million for transit systems throughout Wisconsin, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
See this memo from the non-partisan Legilative Fiscal Bureau for ore detailed informaiton.

Grisby and Schaber have offered an amendment to the bill that would save transit aids. Some communities rely on federal transit aid for 50% of their funding.

Wednesday, Feb 23 is Wisconsin Transit Lobbying Day, and we are asking that people call, email, fax, or visit their legislators to tell them how important transit is to their families, friends, workers, and communities. For more information, you can visit the Transit Now page on this issue.

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