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Politics & Government

Wisconsin Voters Will Make Decision About Transportation Funding

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A referendum on November's ballot will let voters decide whether to require Wisconsin to spend all transportation revenue on transportation projects.

If approved, the referendum would amend the state constitution.

Republican Assemblyman Keith Ripp sponsored the plan. He says people need to know that the money they pay in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees actually maintains roadways. In the past, state leaders sometimes spent the revenue on other programs.

“Right now, it’s the largest segregated fund, and [it’s] been abused the most,” Ripp said. "Since 2003, over $1.3 billion have been taken out of this fund.”

The problem with the amendment is that state leaders could still raid other programs, according to Democratic Representative Gary Hebl. He opposes the change, as long as it only protects transportation.

“We are prioritizing highway funding above our education system and our healthcare,” Hebl said.

While voters will decide whether to protect Wisconsin’s transportation fund, state leaders must find ways to shore-up its finances. It appears headed toward a $600 million-plus shortfall.

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