Transportation: The recently released Assembly plan uses additional revenue created by gas price reforms to further reduce the governor’s proposed bonding levels from $500 million to $200 million, down from $850 million in the last biennium. It raises funds by lowering the minimum mark-up rate on gasoline from 9.2 percent to 3 percent, dropping the gas tax by 3 cents but applying the 5.5 percent sales tax to gasoline. This ultimately will raise the price at the pump by 7 cents when the price is $2.40. Both packages share the same increase to local road aids. The Assembly package is part of a broader tax reform package with the focal point of moving Wisconsin to a flat 3.95 percent income tax.
REINS Act: The REINS Act has passed the state Senate and is onto the Assembly. The REINS Act directs an administrative agency to determine whether a proposed rule has $10 million or more in implementation and compliance costs over a two-year period. If so, the rule cannot be promulgated without authorizing legislation or modification.
NR 151: The DNR is putting together a draft proposal. A draft rule has not yet been released, but will probably be released this month when the draft is presented to the Natural Resources Board. Public hearings will then be held and an economic impact analysis will be done before the rule returns to the board and goes on to the governor for final approval.