Here’s a simple concept career politicians can’t seem to understand: If you can’t get there, nobody’s going there.
In Wisconsin, we have the 2nd worst roads in the nation and they cost drivers an average of $637 per year. 1,232 bridges are structurally deficient, and only 41 percent of state highways were rated in good condition under the Department of Transportation’s rating system — down from 53.5% in 2010. At the same time, costs on 16 projects increased by more than $3 billion.
Let’s be clear – there is no sincere plan for community and economic development in Wisconsin that does not include long-term investment in roads, rail, light rail, buses, ports, airports, high-speed Internet, and reliable cellular connections. This is the 21st century, and we need infrastructure that empowers our state to compete in the global economy. By strategically investing in Wisconsin, we will see growth throughout our state and a turnaround of communities that Gov. Walker has left to die on the vine.
We will re-energize communities by making Wisconsin the most efficient at getting people to work and products to market. Infrastructure projects will also be structured to create regional jobs training programs that put underemployed workers throughout Wisconsin to work in family-sustaining jobs and future energizing regional economies.
As governor, Andy Gronik will connect our state to the 21st-century economy by doing the following:
- Execute a 20-year transportation plan to spark statewide community and economic development by strategically investing in roads, rail, light rail, buses, airports, and ports;
- Pay for the new infrastructure by expanding the transportation fund through user fees generated by gas and wheel taxes and by considering public-private partnerships to develop meaningful options that work for Wisconsin;
- Stop the routine practice of bonding (borrowing to build) transportation projects which shifts the burden of paying for the construction to the future earnings of our children;
- Structure public-private partnerships with organizations to recruit and train a qualified workforce in construction and emerging sectors of the regional economy;
- Seek to expand private-public partnerships with trade unions to scale their world-class training facilities and apprenticeship programs by creating a funnel to identify unemployed or underemployed people interested in a career in the trades;
- Invest in blisteringly fast high-speed Internet and state-of-the-art cellular connections everywhere in our state;
- Invest in the infrastructure needed for electric cars;
- Restore local control so communities throughout Wisconsin are empowered to make decisions about where they will invest in growth and have the means to pay for these improvements.