Wisconsin Railroad Improvement Funding Amendment, Question 1 (April 1992)

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The Wisconsin Railroad Improvement Funding Amendment, also known as the Railways and Other Railroad Facilities Question or the Railway Referendum, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the April 7, 1992 ballot in Wisconsin, where it was approved.

This amendment changed Article VIII, Section 7(2)(a)1 and created Article VIII, Section 10(2)(e) of the Wisconsin Constitution, allowing for the state to start funding railroad improvement project with state money and bonds.[1]

Election results

Railways and Other Railroad Facilities
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 650,592 58.70%
No457,69041.30%

Official results via: The Wisconsin Blue Book 1993-1994

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

"Railways and other railroad facilities. Shall section 7(2)(a)I of article VIII of the constitution be amended, and shall a new provision be created in section 10 of article VIII of the constitution, to permit the appropriation of state moneys for the acquisition, development, improvement or construction of railways and other railroad facilities, and to include state bonding for railways within the public purposes for which the state may issue bonds as authorized by law under existing constitutional limitations?"[1]

Constitutional changes

(NOTE: Scored material would be added; stricken material would be deleted; italics show text created.)
[Article VIII] Section 7 (2) (a) I. To acquire, construct, develop, extend, enlarge or improve land, waters, property, highways, railways, buildings, equipment or facilities for public purposes.
(Article VIII] Section 10. The Except as further provided in this section, the state shall may never contract any debt for works of internal improvement, or be a party in carrying on such works; but whenever.
(1) Whenever grants of land or other property shall have been made to the state, especially dedicated by the grant to particular works of internal improvement, the state may carry on such particular works and shall devote thereto the avails of such grants, and may pledge or appropriate the revenues derived from such works in aid of their completion. Provided, that the
(2) The state may appropriate money in the treasury or to be thereafter raised by taxation for the:
(a) The construction or improvement of public highways or the.
(b) The development, improvement and construction of airports or other aeronautical projects or the.
(c) The acquisition, improvement or construction of veterans' housing or the.
(d) The improvement of port facilities. Provided, that the
(3) The state may appropriate moneys for the purpose of acquiring, preserving and developing the forests of the state; but of. Of the moneys appropriated under the authority of this section subsection in any one year an amount not to exceed two-tenths of one mill of the taxable property of the state as determined by the last preceding state assessment may be raised by a tax on property.

[Article VIII] Section 10(2)(e) The acquisition. development, improvement or construction of railways and other railroad facilities.</i>[1]

Path to the ballot

  • First Legislative Approval: SJR 76 & JR 52 (1989)
  • Second Legislative Approval: SJR 30 & JR 9 (1991)[2]
  • Before the amendment passes, Wisconsin had a 144 year-old ban on state subsidies for railroad facilities, and was the only state in the midwest to constitutionally ban such funding.[3]

See also

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