WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the midst of an infrastructure crisis in Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has secured major federal funding to strengthen our state’s transportation system.
President Trump issued a budget proposal in May that called for drastic cuts to infrastructure funding. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin worked across party lines to successfully reverse the President’s proposed cuts, securing funding to help repair Wisconsin’s crumbling infrastructure in the FY2018 Transportation Appropriations Bill.
“I’m proud to work across party lines to protect federal funding that will help Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “But we must do more to put people to work rebuilding our infrastructure. That is why I will continue to fight for stronger federal investments in Wisconsin’s infrastructure.”
The FY2018 Transportation Appropriations Bill passed out of the Appropriations Committee last week and will now head to the full Senate for a vote.
Roads and Bridges
According to the most recent available data, 27 percent of Wisconsin’s public roads are in poor condition and 9 percent of bridges are structurally deficient. Senator Baldwin was able to secure strong funding for Wisconsin’s highways, including FASTLANE grants that have helped keep I-39/90 expansion on track. She worked to restore funding for the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery) grant program that provides funding to local communities for transportation projects and was slated for elimination under the President’s budget.
Wisconsin’s rural airports provide a vital service for their communities, yet President Trump’s budget proposal would have fully eliminated funding for Essential Air Service (EAS), a program that helps give small towns and rural communities across the country access to air service. Through her advocacy, Senator Baldwin was able to secure funding for the EAS program and help keep rural and small-community airports like the Rhinelander / Oneida County Airport and the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport open in Wisconsin.
Small Shipyard Grants
Senator Baldwin is a strong advocate for Wisconsin shipyards and worked to secure funding for a program that incentivizes small shipyards to modernize facilities and train workers to remain competitive in the global marketplace. This funding is a win for Wisconsin’s small shipyards, equipment manufacturers, the workboat fleet and jobs in all of these industries. President Trump’s budget did not include funding for small shipyard grants.
Passenger rail is a vital part of our transportation network that helps reduce congestion and connect rural towns and cities across America. President Trump’s budget proposal would have cut Amtrak funding and completely eliminated federal funding for Amtrak’s long distance routes. As a strong supporter of investing in passenger rail, Senator Baldwin was able to secure funding that will allow for continued service of long distance routes in Wisconsin.