Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday the Wisconsin State Building Commission (SBC) approved around $125.7 million in key projects in the state, including solar arrays, military towers, and restoration of historic locations.
The Governor released his 2023-25 biennial budget earlier this year, which included $3.8 billion in suggestions for investments in different Wisconsin building projects. In March, Republican members of the commission voted to deadlock the proposals, sending the proposals to the Joint Finance Committee.
Evers said the projects approved were opportunities for students attending educational institutions, visitors enjoying natural areas and resources for state response for emergencies.
“These projects approved by the Commission today represent so much more than building initiatives. They are opportunities for students to learn and grow as leaders in our higher education institutions, for visitors and residents to enjoy our many incredible natural areas and state parks, and for our state to have the resources in place to work with partners to respond quickly and efficiently to an emergency. We must continue to make needed investments in our state buildings and infrastructure to ensure we can rely on these essential systems for years to come, and I hope the Joint Finance Committee does just that when they take up our Capital Budget in the weeks to come,” Evers said in a statement.
Approved projects include the third phase of a remodeling project at the Milwaukee Readiness Center for the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), updates to several statewide radio communications towers for DMA, refurbishing the Wittnebels Tavern at Old World Wisconsin and campus utility improvements for the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
As previously reported by The Daily Reporter, Evers’ proposals for funding agency projects across Wisconsin halted when Republican lawmakers voted to decline $3.8 billion in infrastructure investments. Each motion in the session failed with a 4-4- vote at the full State Building Commission meeting on March 23.
In a statement, Republican Wisconsin Assembly Representative and SBC member Rep. Robert Wittke said the votes were procedural and the recommendations would go to the Joint Finance Committee.
“The votes we took today were procedural. The capital budget recommendations will be moved on to the Joint Committee on Finance for full consideration of the 2023-25 biennial budget as was done in two previous biennial budgets,” Wittke added.