— A measure on the Nov. 4 ballot would amend the
Wisconsin Constitution to prevent transfers from the
state's transportation fund.
EXACTLY WOULD THIS DO?
amendment would prevent the Legislature from taking money
from the transportation fund, which goes toward road
repair and construction, and allocating it for other uses.
Any money the state collects through the gas tax, fees
imposed on driver's licenses and titling vehicles could
only be deposited in the transportation fund.
IT GET HERE?
Legislature put it there. But it won't get added to the
constitution unless voters also approve it. It had
bipartisan support among lawmakers last year, with the
Senate voting 25-8 and the Assembly voting 82-13 in favor
WHY IS IT
amendment, which also has support from the construction
industry, business leaders and others, came about after
the Legislature used $1.4 billion from the fund between
2003 and 2011 to pay for schools and other expenses. At
the same time, the Legislature approved $1.2 billion in
borrowing for transportation spending.
question whether it's wise to remove the flexibility to
take money from the fund in emergencies, and whether the
transportation fund should be protected while other pots
of money are not. Questions have also been raised about
amending the constitution to protect the fund, rather than
changing state law, which can be altered more easily in
HELP GET MY POTHOLES FILLED?
hurt, but even with this amendment the transportation
budget still faces a $680 million shortfall. The
Legislature and candidates for governor are looking at
ways to increase funding, including raising taxes, but
they have not coalesced around any one approach.