Transportation fund would be protected under amendment
MADISON The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a constitutional amendment designed to prevent lawmakers from raiding money from the state transportation fund to pay for other items.
It passed the Assembly on an 82-13 vote. Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, voted in favor of the amendment.
If the amendment clears the Senate again this session, it would go to voters for consideration in the November 2014 election.
Under the Republican-authored amendment, any money the state collects through the gas tax, fees imposed on driver's licenses and titling vehicles must be deposited in the transportation fund. Once in the fund, the money could not be used for any program that isn't run by the state Department of Transportation.
In a news release, Kolste said no segregated fund should be diverted. She added that past governors and Legislatures have raided the tobacco settlement money and federal mortgage foreclosure relief fund.
"The federal funds designated to help people who lost their homes to foreclosure were used to balance the budget,'' she said. "That was wrong, just as it was wrong to use transportation money for other programs."