On November 4th, Wisconsin voters will decide whether to adopt a constitutional amendment relating to a transportation fund and a department of transportation.
From the Brief prepared by the Legislative Reference Bureau:
Currently, the revenues generated by use of the state transportation system may be deposited into any fund as provided by law. This proposed constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2011 legislature on first consideration, requires that such revenues be deposited into a transportation fund, and requires the legislature to create such a fund and a department of transportation.
Why is this amendment being proposed? Here’s an excerpt from the Attorney General’s Explanatory Statement as it appears in the LRB Brief:
At times, the Legislature has transferred moneys initially deposited into the transportation fund to programs with non-transportation-related purposes. Such transfers have typically been to general revenue funds, which are used for state programs such as education, health care, and shared revenue. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suggested that these transfers are permissible under current law.
In essence, the proposed amendment would change the Wisconsin Constitution to require that revenues generated by specified uses of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund and expended only for transportation-related purposes.