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Joint Finance Committee starts chipping away at transportation fund deficit


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin lawmakers have started to chip away at a $63.5 million deficit in the state’s transportation fund.

Tuesday, the Joint Finance Committee endorsed some smaller measures that the DOT proposed for eliminating the shortfall. But the panel delayed action on the biggest and most controversial items – including cuts for highway projects and local road aids, and delays in the re-building of two Milwaukee freeway interchanges.

Republican committee co-chair Alberta Darling says lawmakers are still reviewing the options – and the matter could be taken up again as early as next week.

The panel did agree to reduce funds for a grant program aimed at reducing traffic congestion – and it scaled back funding for Amtrak’s Milwaukee-Chicago line to reflect new cost estimates.

Also, the finance committee rejected a budget request to add almost 30 new State Patrol safety investigators and vehicle inspectors.