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Wisconsin transportation recommendation panel set to meet

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) —A bipartisan commission charged with making recommendations on what major Wisconsin road projects should move forward was scheduled to meet for the first time in half a decade on Friday.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called the meeting of the Transportation Projects Commission, its first since 2014, to receive updates about ongoing projects under environmental study and those recommended for construction.

The commission was created in 1983 and has met irregularly in recent years. It was dormant between 2002 and 2010, before then-Gov. Scott Walker revived it for two meetings in 2011 before it went on another hiatus after a December 2014 meeting. Evers has said he hopes for the 15-member panel to meet at least once a year to keep lawmakers updated on projects.

Evers and state Transportation Department Secretary Craig Thompson are members, along with five members each from the Assembly and Senate and three citizens.

The commission is purely advisory. The Legislature has the power to authorize construction projects without recommendation from the group.

But Evers said he thinks the commission plays a vital role in fostering stronger communication between the Legislature, stakeholders and the public about major projects. The three citizen members Evers appointed are Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna, Waukesha County Public Works Director Allison Bussler and Barron County Highway Commissioner Mark Servi.

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