Wisconsin Republican leaders unified in opposition to train

Dec 14, 2022, 7:58 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2022, 11:45 am
FILE - An Amtrak train departs 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2021. The Republican...

FILE - An Amtrak train departs 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2021. The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate said Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, that he opposes spending any state money to help Madison, Wis., bring a passenger rail line that would connect the capital city to Milwaukee, joining the state's other top GOP legislative leader in opposition to the project. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate said Thursday that he opposes spending any state money to help Madison bring a passenger rail line that would connect the capital city to Milwaukee, joining the state’s other top GOP legislative leader in opposition to the project.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu told The Associated Press that he opposes state funding for the project but had not been briefed by Madison city leaders on what they were attempting. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was blunt last week when asked about it, saying only “No state funding.”

“I don’t think it makes sense to build a rail, even if it’s mostly through federal money, if we’re stuck on the hook subsidizing it for the next 30 years,” LeMahieu said, agreeing with Vos.

Republicans control the Legislature and if they do not agree to state funding for the rail line, it could doom the nascent project, which is envisioned as an expansion between Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota. Former Gov. Scott Walker, also a Republican, opposed a similar rail line when he ran for governor in 2010 and then killed the project, which would have been funded with $810 million from the federal government.

Walker made similar arguments then, saying the state would be left footing costs for a rail line that few people would use.

“I don’t think the numbers really worked then and I know there are a lot of people that commute between the two cities, but it seems like anytime there’s a huge project like that … there’s always cost overruns and then the state’s stuck subsidizing it for forever,” LeMahieu said.

Madison officials have been talking about building a rail line connecting the capital with Milwaukee, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) to the east. Madison hopes to tap part of more than $100 billion in federal funding for rail lines that was included in a bipartisan infrastructure bill that Congress passed in 2021 and President Joe Biden signed.

Madison’s director of transportation, Tom Lynch, said he’s not giving up hope on the project.

“There is already local funding for the initial study and design phase,” he said. “Right now we are developing partnerships, and will see how and where the studies go.”

Madison officials have held meetings to gather input from residents about where they would like train stations to be located.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Nathan Chasing Horse stands in court. Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. Nathan Chasing...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor charged in 2018 rape in PNW

Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former "Dances With Wolves" actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Minister: Cybercrimes now 20% of Spain’s registered offenses

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s government on Wednesday pledged stronger action against cybercrime, saying it has come to account for about a fifth of all offenses registered in the country. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said police would be given additional staff, funding and resources to address online crime. He said reported cases of cybercrime were up […]
1 day ago
Miners leave the Yanomami Indigenous territory ahead of expected operations against illegal mining ...
Associated Press

Brazil squeezes illegal miners out of Yanomami territory

ALTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Armed government officials with Brazil’s justice, Indigenous and environment agencies Wednesday began to press thousands of illegal gold miners out of Yanomami Indigenous territory citing widespread river contamination, famine and disease they have brought to one of the most isolated groups in the world. People involved in illegal gold dredging […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Germany’s Merkel receives UNESCO peace prize in Ivory Coast

YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a UNESCO peace prize Wednesday for her decision to welcome more than 1.2 million migrants to Germany despite resistance at home and among European partners. Organizers said that Merkel showed political courage when Germany welcomed refugees in 2015-2016 who had fled conflicts in Syria, […]
1 day ago
FILE - Queen Margrethe attends the Danish Parliament's celebration of her 50th Regent's Anniversary...
Associated Press

Danish queen to undergo ‘major back surgery’

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s longest-serving monarch, will undergo “major back surgery” later this month, the royal palace said Wednesday. The 82-year-monarch will be hospitalized afterward and undergo “a longer rehabilitation process,” the royal household said in a statement. “During a long period, Her Majesty has […]
1 day ago
FILE - Composer John Williams poses on the red carpet at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala T...
Associated Press

BSO plan to digitize John Williams concerts almost complete

BOSTON (AP) — An effort to digitize more than 200 Boston Pops radio broadcasts conducted by John Williams from 1979 until 1991 is almost complete, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Wednesday, Williams’ 91st birthday. The project to preserve 233 live radio broadcasts that were recorded on 256 one-quarter inch (0.63 centimeter) reel-to-reel analog tapes that […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Wisconsin Republican leaders unified in opposition to train