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Wisconsin transportation secretary divides Senate panel

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state Senate committee is divided about whether to support Gov. Scott Walker’s pick to head the state Department of Transportation.

The Republican-controlled Senate Transportation and Veterans Affairs Committee voted 3-2 along party lines Thursday to approve the confirmation of Dave Ross. The full Senate will vote on confirming Ross in the weeks ahead.

Ross is heading the department in the wake of a critical audit that found WisDOT had been under-estimating the cost of highway projects by millions of dollars. The department is expected to run a $1 billion shortfall in the state’s next budget and lawmakers have struggled to find agreement on a way to respond.

Ross told senators Thursday he believes the department faces a spending problem, not a problem with how much money it has.

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