Voters say they want constitutional protection to safeguard transportation fund

Advisory referendums in 54 Wisconsin counties this fall show that voters overwhelmingly favor amending the Wisconsin constitution to provide protection for the state’s transportation fund. In the November 2 election, the referendum passed by margins that ranged from 61.5 percent in Trempealeau County to 85.1 percent in Dodge County, with an average in excess of 70 percent.

“We are not surprised by these results. They reflect what we have been hearing from people in every corner of the state for a long time,” said Craig Thompson, executive director of the non-profit Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin. “Fifty-four county boards simply gave the people the opportunity to be heard on this issue, and they are sending a clear directive to the state legislature. They want transportation money to be used for transportation purposes and they believe amending the constitution is the best way to accomplish that.”

Thompson’s group is part of Finding Forward , a broad-based coalition that worked to get the referendum placed on the ballot in reaction to past transfers of more than $1.3 billion from the transportation fund to the general fund. Finding Forward’s grass roots efforts are supported by a diverse group of partners including private businesses, organized labor, regional planning interests, county and municipal officials, agricultural and housing organizations, and more.

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