Mark Gottlieb has reportedly tendered his resignation to Gov. Walker, effective January 6, as secretary of Wisconsin's Dept. of Transportation. The DOT is facing a one billion dollar deficit and sharply differing opinions about how to address it.
Walker promotes borrowing more money and delaying some highway projects, maintaining that he will not support increases in taxes or fees unless there is a corresponding reduction somewhere else in the state budget. Republican leaders of the Legislature have said every option is on the table including raising the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
Gov. Walker has quickly appointed a new DOT secretary - Dave Ross, who has been serving as secretary of the Dept. of Safety and Professional Services. He will take over on January 7. Ross said, in response, "I look forward to hitting the ground running and continuing to serve as a strong taxpayer advocate for Governor Walker in this new role."
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a statement on Gottlieb's departure reading, in part, "Wisconsin is losing one of our most hardworking and articulate public leaders. During his tenure, Secretary Gottlieb transformed the Department of Transportation, made it more efficient and saved taxpayers more than $1.5 billion in the process... As we’re set to begin the 2017-2018 legislative session and make the tough but prudent decisions regarding the state budget, Secretary Gottlieb’s expertise and candor will be missed."