Kitchens: State surplus could help roads, schools

State Rep. Joel Kitchens

State Rep. Joel Kitchens says a plan released Friday by Assembly Republican leaders is a “great first step” toward the goal of finding a sustainable funding solution for the state’s transportation fund.

Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, told the Kewaunee County Board on Thursday night that a transportation solution could likely be developed after Thursday’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau report that projected the state will collect about $455 million more this biennium than previously estimated.

“The state is in very very good shape financially, and we’re gonna have the biggest surplus we’ve had in a very long time,” Kitchens said. “And the governor has promised that he will not raise any fees unless there’s an offset in taxes in some other area … I think there’s a good opportunity for us to do much better than that.”

The GOP leadership announced it’s working on a $300 million tax cut to balance additional investments in roads and highways.

The governor has already said he plans to put more money into county and municipal roads as he works on the 2017-19 state budget, Kitchens told the board.

In a statement Friday, Kitchens said he plans to advocate for additional school funding as well.