MADISON (WKOW) — The debate over F-35 jets coming to Truax Field in Madison is growing as lawmakers spar over the plan.
The Wisconsin State Senate voted and approved a resolution Tuesday supporting the deployment of F-35s to Dane County. Truax is one of five locations under consideration for housing two squadrons of F-35s.
Republican lawmakers introduced the resolution in hopes to raise awareness about the economic benefits to the entire state, but this vote doesn’t have any effect on whether the jets would come.
The resolution comes as several community members who live in the flight path are concerned about the noise impact. An environmental impact study shows the noise from the jets could mean more than 1,000 homes would be “incompatible for residential use,” according to the Air Force and National Guard Bureau.
Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) said those concerns are being blown out of proportion.
“These are being overblown and my personal opinion is this is going to be no different than what the F-16 does currently,” said Kurtz. “As elected officials, it is our responsibility to show our support for those men and women and that we want the F-35s.”
Kurtz said his resolution is supported by some Democrats, Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Sen. Mark Miller (D-Madison) are supportive of the 64 new jobs the jets would bring to the state and continue the flow of millions in economic output from the 115th fighter wing.
Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) has widely criticized the F-35s saying the jets could bring “ruin” to residential areas near the airport.
The Assembly plans to vote on the resolution Thursday. Kurtz said he believes it will pass in his chamber.