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Issue 1014

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TDA Annual Meeting & Reception
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- 2014 TDA Annual Meeting/ November 19th/ Monona Terrace 
After Vote Yes Cocktail Reception/ November 18th/ Madison Club

Since 2009, many in the transportation community and beyond have been focused on getting a measure before the voters to constitutionally protect Wisconsin’s transportation fund – to ensure transportation dollars are used only for transportation.

Getting this proposed constitutional amendment before the voters on November 4th was a major achievement.

Now what?

If you want to know what is After Vote Yes, please attend the 2014 TDA Annual Meeting. And join us for a little after-the-election relaxation at the After Vote Yes Cocktail Reception.

Click here for more information.

Don't wait. The registration deadline is Friday, November 14th.

(Note: If you are not available to attend the Annual Meeting but would like to drop by the reception, it is not necessary to register. Just send a RSVP to 

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In Business Wisconsin Blog
Vote to Protect Transportation Fund on Nov. 4
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Note: This blog posted in mid-October.  Subsequently Mary Burke and Governor Walker expressed support for the amendment.

In my last blog, I talked about a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the state transportation fund. The headline was “One issue we can (almost) all agree on this November.” As a quick reminder, and in case there are one or two people out there who didn’t read that blog, here is the question that will appear on every ballot in the state on Nov. 4:

Shall section 9 (2) of article IV and section 11 of article VIII of the constitution be created to require that revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund?

As I have traveled the state talking to editorial boards and civic groups, the response has always been about the same: “This just makes sense. Who would be against dedicating the money to go where it is supposed to?”

It’s a great question. If you look at the members of Vote Yes for Transportation, the group advocating for this amendment, there aren’t many constituencies in Wisconsin that aren’t covered. It includes the Wisconsin Towns Association, Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, Midwest Food Processors Association, Wisconsin Grocers Association, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, AAA Wisconsin, Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, and the list goes on. You can see the entire list of more than 50 organizations by clicking here.

There isn’t a single group registered with the Government Accountability Board (GAB) to advocate a “no” vote. Polling demonstrates that people in Milwaukee and Madison favor this as much as those who live out state. The same is true of people who plan to vote Democratic or Republican.

So have we finally found the one issue that we can all support on its merits as a straightforward, pragmatic solution to a problem? Is it possible that we can still come together on real-life issues like the viability of our roads, bridges, and buses without viewing them through our ideological lenses?

On Nov. 5, we will know the answer for certain. Right now, I am actually feeling optimistic on that front. Next up … finding peace in the Middle East.

For now, take a moment to check out the eighth in our series of the Big Ten Transportation Truths, wherein we answer the question “why does transportation matter?” Because you should get what you pay for.

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14 Days and Counting
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Two weeks from today voters will head to the polls to express their preference for governor and any number of other political offices and issues. Also on the ballot is the constitutional amendment to protect Wisconsin’s transportation fund by ensuring transportation dollars are used only for transportation purposes.

A large part of the last six months has been dedicated to letting people know this item is on the ballot, educating them about what the amendment does and doesn’t do and making them familiar with the question.

Vote YES has recently finished editorial board visits and the state’s two largest newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, have urged a YES vote. Joining the chorus are the Beloit Daily News, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the La Crosse Tribune, the Oshkosh Northwestern, the Janesville Gazette and Racine Journal Times.

Vote YES has also been covered widely on TV and radio. During the last couple weeks, there has been on average at least one interview a day, and there have been many days with multiple interviews. Not all the segments have run but Vote YES has provided interviews for TV in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, La Crosse and Eau Claire. And we have done statewide radio, the Wisconsin Radio Network and WPR, and radio in Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, Sheboygan and Superior.

The last 2-week flight of radio will start this week and a blast poster showing has hit Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Appleton.

Thanks for the support and make sure to Vote YES on November 4th.

Vote YES Coverage 

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NAM: Real Investment in Transportation on the Decline

A National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) study points to some troubling trends in infrastructure investment.

According to the report, a look at real capital spending reveals:

  • Investment in highway, roads and bridges fell 3.5 percent each year from 2003 to 2012;
  • Investment in mass transit, aviation and water transportation infrastructure declined sharply from 2003 to 2008; and
  • Capital spending for water supply and wastewater expenditures dipped nearly 2 percent a year from 2009 to 2012.

“The United States is stuck in a decade-long period of decline that will eventually harm job creation, future productivity and our ability to compete head-to-head with companies all over the globe,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “As we sit idle, our competitors are churning out investments in their infrastructure.”

This decline in investment confirms observations reflected in a poll of manufacturers conducted last year. Sixty-five percent of respondents said infrastructure, specifically in their region, is not positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy.

Wisconsin is in the top five manufacturing states with 19 percent of GDP coming from this sector and almost 7 percent of employment. 

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Interesting News Coverage

Wisconsin State Journal, October 14, 2014 – "Gov. Scott Walker floats replacing gas tax to fix transportation shortfall"

University of Minnesota, October 7, 2014 – “Access Across America: University of Minnesota ranks accessibility to jobs by transit in top U.S. cities” Note: Milwaukee ranked 12th

Finance &, October 7, 2014 – “Suburban [Minnesota] uprising threatens transportation funding push"

The Time of Northwest Indiana, October 5, 2014 – “Tough decisions ahead on Indiana road, bridge funding”

The Augusta Chronicle, September 30, 2014 – “Georgia, local leaders discuss new taxes for transportation funding”

KMSU Ozark Public Radio, September 29, 2014 – “Money for transportation in Missouri still a concern”

The, September 28, 2014 – “Tax reform, highway bill 'doable,' Boehner says”

The Texas Tribune, September 25, 2014 – “Poll: Texans don't see public transit as a congestion cure”

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Association Notes
TDA Welcomes New Member

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Calendar of Events

Save the Date

  • TDA Fly-in: March 25-26, 2015

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@TDAWisconsin, Now on Twitter
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Racine buses. Green Bay port. Rail lines in Superior. Waukesha Airport. Roads we all use. WI’s transpo network: heart of our economy.

Follow TDA for the latest in transportation news.

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