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Powerball jackpot could help fix Wisconsin roads

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - The Powerball lottery made one local man rich, but it could also make local drivers happy.

A Milwaukee lawmaker wants to use the state’s cut of the windfall to fix our roads.

Just about everyone knows a street in the city that could use some work.

“There’s just massive cracks all over the place,” said Milwaukee resident Michael Sadler.

The problem is everywhere and it’s not getting better.

“Even when they’re repairing roads they just break a couple months later so, there’s something wrong everywhere,” said Sadler.

“A lot of complaints I hear, local roads, pot holes,” said State Sen. Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee.

The Senator hears road complaints a lot, which is why he came up with a jackpot of an idea.

“The idea I had to draft the bill and have it signed into law, to take that windfall lottery money and use it towards local roads,” said Sen. Carpenter.

Manuel Franco of West Allis recently won the massive $768 million dollar jackpot.

That’s a big jackpot, but also means a big tax bill.

“The lump sum of $477 million , the state income tax on that is $36.5 million the state wasn’t expecting,” said Sen. Carpenter.

That money would normally go in the general fund.

“There’s a separate fund that goes towards local road aids, otherwise they are paid for by the property tax,” said Sen. Carpenter.

Sen. Carpenter says this is a unique opportunity at a time when our communities really need it.

The best part he says, is this plan bypasses the bumpy budget process to help smooth out our roads.

“Things get caught up in Madison with partisan infighting and here’s an opportunity to increase local road aids without raising taxes at all,” he said.

It would be a one-time thing, Senator Carpenter says this would only apply to this win and not future winners.

He plans to draft the bill this week and try and gain support.

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