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Committee cuts roadwork to close budget gap

Published On: May 23 2013 06:32:13 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

The Legislature's budget-writing committee has unanimously approved dozens of recommendations aimed at closing a $54 million deficit in Wisconsin's roads fund.

The Joint Finance Committee voted 16-0 Thursday to delay freeway work in the Milwaukee area and scale back road aid to local governments. It also agreed to cut funding for reconstruction on part of Milwaukee's Zoo Interchange. Those efforts alone are expected to save more than $37 million.

The committee also voted to add 180 positions related to highway engineering. The $27 million in costs would come from budgeted highway-rehabilitation funds.

The proposals were prompted by a drop in gas-tax revenue, which the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says will lead to a budget deficit of about $54 million, revised downward from an earlier estimate of $64 million.

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