Doyle pessimistic on latest RTA proposal

    Assembly Democrats introduced a revised proposal to create the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority legislation, but Gov. Jim Doyle said the amendment would undermine a hard-fought agreement on the original bill.
    The amendment would alter AB 723 to, in part, streamline the process of combining the Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee county transportation systems to compete for federal funding, create state incentives for Racine and Kenosha to upgrade their local transit systems, and ensure that any local revenue raised to fund the RTA would remain in its respective county.
    Rep. Cory Mason said the amendment aims to "breathe new life into the KRM proposal" and said lawmakers still hope to pass the bill before the end of session. The Assembly Transportation Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the bill March 11.
    "Everybody’s in sort of a pragmatic mode of wanting to get something passed," said Mason, D-Racine.
    But Doyle said he thinks the proposal "moves us backward on being able to have a good application to the (U.S.) Department of Transportation on KRM."

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