Press Release: Gov. Evers Announces Historic Proposed Long-Term Investments in State's Infrastructure

Office of Governor Tony Evers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2023
Gov. Evers Announces Historic Proposed Long-Term Investments in States Infrastructure
Governor’s historic capital budget investments saves taxpayers nearly $1 billion, supports estimated nearly $7 billion in economic activity and 45,000 jobs

JANESVILLE — Gov. Tony Evers today released $3.8 billion in recommended investments in his 2023-25 Capital Budget for the renovation and renewal of the state’s existing infrastructure and to support major projects across the state in 28 counties. The announcement represents one of the strongest investments to date for Wisconsin’s facility infrastructure without the burden of 20 years of debt service for general obligation debt. At a four percent comparison interest rate, the governor’s proposal to fund $1.9 billion of the capital improvement projects instead of borrowing will save taxpayers nearly $1 billion in future debt service payments. 

The recommended investments will also help grow the economy by providing family-supporting jobs and supporting businesses throughout the state. According to Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, for every $1 in construction spending, there is $1.84 of economic activity generated in Wisconsin. Additionally, for every $1 million of construction spending, 12 jobs are supported in the state’s economy. As a result, it is estimated the governor’s proposed Capital Budget supports approximately $6.8 billion in economic activity and 45,000 jobs throughout Wisconsin. 

“Our budget is all about investing in the future of our people, our communities, and our state to bolster our workforce, prepare our state and our economy for the future, and maintain our economic momentum by building our economy from the ground up. Our historic surplus means we have historic opportunity and responsibility—to invest in key projects that have long been neglected while still staying well within our means, keeping borrowing low, and saving taxpayers money in the long run, and that's exactly what our Capital Budget does,” said Gov. Evers. 

“From investments in our UW System campuses so we can grow the next generation of scientists, leaders, educators, and innovators, to our state parks and ensuring Wisconsinites can enjoy our vast and valuable natural resources, to finally addressing deferred maintenance projects and the safety of our public facilities, these are critical projects that will help us build the infrastructure of the 21st century. I look forward to taking these recommendations up with the rest of the State Building Commission next month.”

Gov. Evers’ Capital Budget builds upon the Administration’s ongoing efforts to aggressively and responsibly address deferred maintenance and life safety issues in state-owned buildings and maximize and modernize state and higher education facilities while supporting sustainable designs. 

The 2023-25 Capital Budget Agency Requests and Governor’s Recommendations can be found here. Highlights of Gov. Evers’ Capital Budget recommendations include: 

  • Significant investment of approximately $1.8 billion for capital improvement projects through the University of Wisconsin (UW) System at campuses across the state; 
  • Protecting our natural resources and improving visitor experiences through investments in state parks and forests and upgrades to Fire Response Ranger Stations; 
  • Honoring and caring for veterans by funding upgrades to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King and purchasing the Veterans Museum location for future upgrades; 
  • Investing nearly $50 million in making restorative and infrastructure improvements to components of the State Capitol Building; 
  • Supporting reforms to the juvenile justice system through continued investments in correctional facilities to further work towards closing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake as juvenile facilities, on which more information can be found here, including additional bonding to complete the Milwaukee Type 1 facility, bonding for a new Type 1 facility on Department of Corrections-owned property in Oregon, the expansion of the Grow Academy in Oregon, and bonding to study and plan for a third Type 1 facility in the Northeastern region; 
  • Providing $225 million to invest in health services facilities, including utility infrastructure, support services, and patient care; 
  • Leveraging nearly $52 million in federal support for Wisconsin National Guard facilities with a recommendation of $84 million total funds for capital improvement projects; 
  • Continuing support for a new Wisconsin History Museum with an additional investment of approximately $60 million, including more than $42 million in added state support, to recognize the rising cost of the project in the post-pandemic construction environment; 
  • Installing renewable energy capabilities in state facilities with a $25 million investment in support of Gov. Evers’ Clean Energy Plan; 
  • Addressing the state’s backlog of deferred maintenance by providing the largest investment to date of $616 million for all state agencies, including the UW System, for small to mid-sized capital maintenance and repair projects across the state in the All Agency Program; and
  • Supporting local community projects with a statewide public purpose, such as the Bronzeville Center for the Arts, Versiti Blood Research Institute, Milwaukee Iron District, Woodman’s Sports and Convention Center in Janesville, Green Bay National Railroad Museum, Children’s Wisconsin, Marquette University School of Dentistry, and the Door County Peninsula Players Theatre. 

The State Building Commission will meet Thurs., March 23, 2023, to vote on the governor’s recommendations. Following that vote, the State Building Commission’s Capital Budget Recommendations are statutorily required to be submitted to the Joint Committee on Finance by the first Tuesday in April. 

An online version of this release is available here.