State Budget Recap: Transportation, Building Commission, Military Affairs (June 8)

On Tuesday, June 8, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) held an executive session to consider various motions related to the 2021-23 state budget. Click here to visit our main budget recap article for more information on the overall budget process as well as each executive session held by JFC in 2021.

Below is a list of motions that JFC considered on June 8, including whether each motion was adopted and how the committee voted. The committee includes 12 Republican members and 4 Democrats; all 11-4 and 4-11 vote tallies were along party lines. One Republican member of JFC was absent on June 8.


  • Motion 81: Department of Military Affairs (11-4)
  • Motion 83: Department of Administration – Division of Gaming (11-4)
  • Motion 84: Building Commission (11-4)
  • Motion 86: Department of Transportation (11-4)

Not adopted

  • Motion 74: Department of Administration – Division of Gaming (4-11)
  • Motion 75: Building Commission (4-11)
  • Motion 82: Department of Military Affairs (4-11)
  • Motion 85: Department of Transportation, Volkswagen Settlement Funds (3-12)

Below are highlights from the motions approved by JFC:

Building Commission

  • Approve $1.5 billion to fund state and UW System building projects, compared to about $2.4 billion in projects proposed by the governor.
  • Motion 84 did not fund the governor’s request for $163 million to build a new state office building at 27th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.

Department of Military Affairs

  • Provide funding for a new statewide interoperable radio network to replace the existing Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications (WISCOM).
  • Provide funding to develop the Next Generation 911 (NG911) Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network and Geographical Information System (GIS) database. Includes $7.88 million in 2021-22 and $11.41 million in 2022-23, funded from the police and fire protection fund.
  • Provide a one-time $6 million appropriation in 2022-23 to help public safety answering points transition to NG911 with staff, equipment, and software. Also provide a one-time $1.5 million appropriation in 2022-23 for grants to help local units of government implement the NG911 system.

Department of Transportation

  • Authorize $2 billion in state and federal funds to reconstruct, recondition, and resurface highways, as requested by the governor.
  • Authorize $224 million in transportation bonding, the lowest level in 20 years, compared to more than $550 million in bonding proposed by the governor.
  • Enumerate the megaproject to rebuild I-94 west of downtown Milwaukee between the Marquette and Zoo freeway interchanges, including widening the interstate from six to eight lanes, at a total cost of $1.1 billion. Over the next two years, the state would spend $82 million to plan and prepare the project. Given the department’s announcement in April 2021 that it would delay the project to conduct a more extensive review, construction cannot begin until at least late 2022.
  • Provide $565.6 million for other large projects, with most of that funding going toward the expansion of I-43 in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.
  • Provide $200 million in general purpose revenue for transportation purposes to avoid raising gas taxes or vehicle registration fees, even as revenue from those sources declined in 2020 with Wisconsinites driving less often.
  • Provide local governments with an additional $19.1 million over two years for road repair, as requested by the governor.
  • Provide $100 million over two years under a separate program to support local government transportation projects.
  • On a one-time basis, provide half of the funding for transit systems in Milwaukee in Madison as the 2019-21 budget, a reduction of over $40 million compared to current levels. The Milwaukee County transit system is slated to receive more than $215 million from federal COVID-19 relief legislation, while Madison’s transit system is receiving about $70 million.
  • Motion 86 did not alter how the state would spend its remaining funds from the Volkswagen emissions lawsuit settlement. The governor’s budget proposed allocating $10 million from the settlement funds for an electric vehicle charging station grant program.
  • Motion 86 did not include the additional $1 million in state funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) requested by the governor. This means that TAP will continue to be funded with about $7.5 million in federal monies with no state support.
  • Provide a one-time $700,000 appropriation for the Wisconsin State Patrol to purchase body-worn cameras.
  • Permit the department to continue its COVID-19 pandemic policy of waiving the road test requirement for teenage drivers applying for a non-commercial driver’s license.