U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said this week that he favors changing federal law to afford state governments the “freedom to choose” to implement tolled highways.
In speaking this week to the editorial board of The Journal Times, a Racine, Wis., newspaper, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said that establishing such tollways is “something that Wisconsin ought to have the freedom to choose.
“We shouldn’t be denied the ability to do it if we want to,” he explained. “That’s the point I would make. It’s more of a states’ rights thing.”
Per the newspaper report, Ryan did not explicitly support toll roads in Wisconsin. However, he said the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee may take up the tolling issue this year.
As for replenishing the federal Highway Trust Fund, The Journal Times reported that Ryan said there are funding fixes other than relying on fuel-tax receipts that could prove out over the long haul (such as mileage-based user fees). But he asserted these solutions are not ready for implementation now.
“What I’m trying to do is figure out … a bridge financing piece to get us a highway bill until we can come up with a better system to finance us long term,” Ryan told the newspaper.