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State Assembly takes up bills aiming to prevent losing federal highway dollars

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to vote Tuesday on two bills that prevent the state from losing some of its precious federal highway dollars.

Senate Republican Jerry Petrowski of Marathon is the lead author of both measures, designed to put Wisconsin in line with federal guidelines.

One bill requires knowledge tests for military drivers who apply for commercial licenses in the Badger State. The other modifies how the state handles out of service violations for truckers' logs.

Petrowski says the federal government threatens to withhold $25 million a year for states which don't follow federal codes to the letter -- and the funding loss could rise to $50 million in the second year of a variance.

Wisconsin is considered to be millions of dollars short of what it needs for new and improved highways, and Petrowski says the state can ill afford to lose any federal road building assistance.

His two bills passed the Senate last week.

Another bill going through the Legislature would let multi-axle trucks carry more weight for hauling wood -- something Petrowski says is needed to keep logging competitive in Wisconsin.