Just moments ago the state senate voted down an amendment which would have restored the authority of the DOT and local governments to use eminent domain in those rare instances when it is necessary to build a recreational trail, a bike lane or a sidewalk.
The vote was 20-13 along partisan lines with all the Republicans voting against the amendment (and therefore voting against cyclists and pedestrians) and all the Democrats voting on our side of the issue.
Our thanks go to Sen. Fred Risser of Madison who gave an impassioned speech on our behalf and to all the senators in the Democratic caucus who voted for the amendment.
The anti-trails amendment was slipped into the budget literally under cover of darkness last week. Its author won’t even come forward to claim this and defend it. And despite Sen. Risser’s repeated requests on the senate floor this afternoon no one on the Republican side bothered to stand up and explain their support for this provision. It’s all pretty shameful.
We’ll now focus our attention on the governor and ask him to use his line item veto authority to remove this provision. Look for an Action Alert on this issue early next week.