Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment

Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment

What is the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment?

The Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment is a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to protect transportation funding. At the General Election on November 8, 2016, Illinois voters will be asked even before voting for President of the United States whether the proposed amendment should be added to the Illinois Constitution.The Illinois Constitution allows the General Assembly to propose amendments to the Illinois Constitution and submit those amendments to Illinois voters for approval and ratification at the next General Election. The General Assembly proposed the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment by adopting House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 36 on May 5, 2016.

How does the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment protect transportation funding?

The Safe Roads Constitution Amendment provides that moneys raised through State or local motor fuel taxes, motor vehicle registration or title fees, and other user taxes, tolls, and fees dedicated to public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit (buses and rail), ports, or airports may only be expended on transportation purposes. In other words, the proposed amendment prohibits the General Assembly or a unit of local government from using, diverting, or transferring moneys raised from these transportation revenue sources for non-transportation purposes.

Why is the Safe Roads Constitutional amendment needed?

Illinoisans pay motor fuel taxes, fees for vehicle registrations and license plates, and other transportation related taxes and fees with the expectation that these monies will be spent to maintain, repair, and build roads, highways, mass transit, and other transportation systems in their communities. Historically, the State and units of local government have diverted portions of monies raised from these revenue sources for other non-transportation purposes.

Approval of this amendment will ensure that transportation funds are used only for transportation purposes. It will also ensure there is a dedicated funding source for projects that will increase the quality of Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Improving the quality of our State’s transportation infrastructure will reduce accidents and damage to vehicles caused by road conditions or hazards.

What are “transportation purposes” under the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment?

Under the proposed amendment, transportation funds may be used by the State or local governments only for the following purposes: (1) costs related to administering transportation and vehicle laws, including public safety purposes and the payment of obligations such as bonds; (2) the State or local share necessary to secure federal funds or for local government transportation purposes as authorized by law; (3) the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, and operation of highways, mass transit, and railroad crossings; (4) expenses related to workers’ compensation claims for death or injury of transportation agency employees; and (5) to purchase land for building highways or buildings for to be used for highway purposes.

Does the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment apply to revenues derived from State or Local sales taxes on motor fuel?

No, the proposed amendment does not apply to State or local sales taxes on the sale of motor fuel. The reason being that State and local sales taxes are not taxes specific to motor fuel, but rather apply to other items consumers purchase.

Does the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment allow the Illinois Secretary of State and Illinois Department of Transportation to continue to spend transportation funds for expenses on programs they administer that are directly dedicated to the safety of State roads and other transportation systems?

Yes, so long as those funds are used for transportation purposes.

Does the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment allow the Illinois State Police to continue to spend transportation funds on operating costs that are directly dedicated to the safety of State roads and other transportation systems?

Yes, so long as those funds are used for transportation purposes.

Does the Safe Roads Constitutional Amendment allow units of local government to continue to spend transportation funds on expenses and operating costs for programs they administer that are directly dedicated to the safety of local roads and other transportation systems?

Yes, so long as those funds are used for transportation purposes.

What is the actual question that Illinois voters will see on the ballot at the November General Election?

Illinois voters will be asked whether to vote “Yes” to the following question:The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution. YES            For the proposed addition NO              of the Illinois Constitution.

 

  1. ————————————————————-
  2. ———-       of Section 11 to Article IX
  3. ————————————————————-