Wisconsin Transportation Fund Advisory Referendum (2010)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Wisconsin Transportation Fund Advisory Referendum was a multiple-county advisory referendum in Wisconsin on the September 14 and November 2, 2010 ballot. The advisory referendum asked voters to whether have the state legislature pursue a constitutional amendment to make it illegal to raid segregated fee funds including the transportation fund to solve budget issues. Voters approved the measure in all the counties that qualified it.

Path to the ballot

How an advisory referendum is placed

Any county board or municipal government in Wisconsin can qualify an advisory referendum to determine the will of its constituents. This is done by having the respective council or board approve a resolution calling for an advisory referendum[1].

Counties placing questions on November ballot

54 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin approved resolutions to qualify the advisory referendum on the ballot[2]. 53 counties had the referendum qualified for the November 2, 2010 ballot, while Racine County qualified the measure for the September 14, 2010, statewide primary[3].

Text of measure

The official ballot question as follows:

Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to prohibit any further transfers or lapses from the segregated transportation fund?

Interpretative statements

A Yes vote for the referendum would advise the legislators to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to prohibit raids from the state's segregated transportation fund during a future session of the Legislature. Also, the measure would ensure that money in the transportation fund would be used for transportation purposes only[5].

A No vote would ask for lawmakers to not pursue changes on how money in the segregated transportation fund is spent[5].

Election results

September 14, 2010 statewide primary

Racine County, Wisconsin, which is located in the Milwaukee Metro Area, was the only county to qualify the advisory measure for the September 14, 2010, statewide primary. Voters in Racine County approved the measure by a 2 to 1 margin[6].

Racine County Transportation Funding Measure-Advisory
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 18,748 55.7%
No 6,676 19.8%
Total votes 33,681 100.00%
Voter turnout  %

Source: Racine County Clerk[7].

NOTE: A total of 8,257 votes in the referendum were counted as either an over or under vote.

November 2, 2010 general election

Residents of 53 counties voted on the advisory referendum during the November 2, 2010 general election. The referendum was approved in all 53 counties. Each county's result is listed individually. The totals on the bottom of the chart include the numbers from the Racine County measure voted on September 14, 2010.

County Yes No Overvote
Adams 3,972 2,021
Ashland 3,019 1,465
Bayfield 4,172 1,548
Barron 8,872 4,512
Brown 49,356 20,587
Burnett 3,796 1,777
Calumet (dead link) 10,559 4,489
Chippewa (dead link) 13,218 5,423
Clark 6,149 2,643
Columbia (dead link) 12,300 6,130
Crawford 3,496 1,930
Dodge 22,902 4,010
Door 9,436 2,978
Douglas 8,273 3,245
Eau Claire 20,506 9,013
Forest 2,321 877
Green 7,392 3,404
Green Lake (dead link) 4,139 1,729
Grant 9,244 5,032
Iron 1,482 741
Jackson 4,178 2,040
Juneau 6,139 1,392
Kewaunee 4,452 2,276
La Crosse 22,746 10,500
Lafayette 3,210 1,857
Langlade 4,880 1,778
Lincoln 7,798 1,235 1,416
Manitowoc 16,798 8,093
Marathon (dead link) 26,949 12,470
Menominee 406 123
Monroe (timed out) 7,632 3,531
Oneida 10,081 3,283
Outagamie 35,047 16,226
Ozaukee 24,704 8,839
Pierce 7,587 3,628
Pepin 1,479 731
Polk 8,473 4,236
Portage 14,817 7,308
Price 3,684 1,538
Richland 3,499 1,756
Rock 29,856 12,672
Shawano 8,879 3,630
Sheboygan 28,149 10,872
St. Croix (dead link) 15,795 7,374
Taylor (dead link) 4,308 1,508
Trempealeau 5,463 3,413
Vernon 6,266 3,715
Vilas 7,085 2,062
Waukesha 113,407 37,577
Waupaca 10,653 4,848
Waushara (dead link) 6,710 2,306
Winnebago 35,677 14,959
TOTAL w/Racine County 710,159 287,976 9,673
Percentage 70.5% 28.6% 0.9%


Elected officials

Coalition groups

  • Finding Forward Coalition-A group of businesses, labor organizations, and other trade groups that are opposed to raids in transportation funding. Those coalition partners are:

* 3M
* AAA - Wisconsin
* Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin (APW)
* American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin (ACEC)
* American Petroleum Institute (API)
* Construction Business Group (CBG)
* Dairy Business Association
* East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
* Forward Janesville, Inc.
* Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association
* Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce
* Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
* International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139
* Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
* Midwest Food Processors Association (MWFPA)
* National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
* Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
* Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin (TDA)
* Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association (WAPA)
* Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association (WATDA)
* Wisconsin Automotive Aftermarket Association (WAAA)
* Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association
* Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
* Wisconsin County Highway Association (WCHA)
* Wisconsin Earth Movers Association (WEMA)
* Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA)
* Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA)
* Wisconsin Housing Alliance
* Wisconsin Laborers' District Council
* Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
* Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association (WMCA)
* Wisconsin Petroleum Council
* Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (WPMCA)
* Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA)
* Wisconsin Retail Council (WRC)
* Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA)
* Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association (WTBA)
* Wisconsin Urban & Rural Transit Association (WURTA)[11].


There has been no formal opposition group formed to oppose the referendum as of October 29, 2010.

Media editorial positions


  • The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in its October 20, 2010 edition, gave a strong endorsement for passage of the transportation fund advisory referendum. Despite the state's largest newspaper acknowledged that the referendum did not qualify in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties, the Journal Sentinel felt that a yes vote would send a message to state lawmakers to qualify a binding constitutional amendment during the next legislative session[12].
  • The Sheboygan Press supported the transportation fund advisory referendum. The newspaper's editorial board said that voter approval of the measure should send a message to state lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting segregated fund raids. The Press argued that stopping segregated fee raids is the first step in getting Wisconsin's state budget balanced[13].
  • The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) gave its endorsement of the referendum in a editorial column published on October 20, 2010. The editorial suggests that motorists who pay into the transportation fund should not be on the hook to fund other parts of the state budget. The State Journal cited that over $1.2 billion dollars was raided from the transportation fund in previous budgets and argued that voting yes would send a message to lawmakers to stop unauthorized raids in future budgets[14].


  • The Appleton Post-Crescent opposed the transportation fund advisory referendum. The newspaper's editorial board argued that the referendum had little meaning because it was advisory. Also, the newspaper defended the need for a Governor to raid segregated fee funds by citing the transfer Governor Jim Doyle made in 2003 state to shift transportation fund money into the state budget for education purposes[15].

Similar measures

External links


  1. 'Finding Forward Wisconsin, "FAQ's"(See Why are counties considering placing an advisory referendum on the November ballot?)
  2. Finding Forward Wisconsin, "Oneida and Langlade counties pass resolution," September 23, 2010
  3. Finding Forward Coalition, "Front Page"(See Counties shaded in light blue have passed a resolution to include the referendum on their November ballots)
  4. WisPolitics, "Finding Forward: Group releases FAQ on transportation fund referendum," October 11, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 Finding Forward Wisconsin, "Frequently Asked Questions"
  6. Racine Journal Times, "County voters say transfer of state transportation funds should be unconstitutional, initial results say," September 15, 2010
  7. Racine County Clerk, "2010 Fall Primary Election Results"(See Racine County Advisory Referendum to amend Wisconsin Constitution)
  8. Transportation Development Association, "Transportation Development Association: Barrett and Walker endorse constitutional amendment to protect transportation funds," September 19, 2010
  9. State Rep. Mark Gottlieb, "The Gottlieb Report," May 2010
  10. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Protect state transportation fund from further raids," October 18, 2010
  11. Finding Forward Coalition, "Coalition Partners"
  12. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "EDITORIAL: Send message on raids," October 20, 2010
  13. Sheboygan Press, "Editorial: Stop budget raids: Yes," October 29, 2010
  14. Wisconsin State Journal, "Protect transportation dollars," October 20, 2010
  15. Post Crescent, "Editorial: Vote no on fund transfer referendum," October 26, 2010