On The Ballot: Amending Wisconsin’s Constitution

Apr. 26, 2024

Good conservative reforms will never make it past Gov. Evers’ veto pen to become state laws. Fortunately, there’s another way. The governor gets no say in the process to create a state constitutional amendment. As an added bonus, state constitutional amendments trump state laws.

The process begins when a lawmaker introduces a joint resolution in either the State Senate or the State Assembly. Regardless of where it is introduced, both chambers must approve the resolution before it can move on to step two.

After the resolution is passed, it must be reintroduced during the next session of the legislature. (A session lasts for two years and begins in the January of odd-numbered years). Both chambers must once again pass the resolution. This time around, the resolution will include specific questions that will be presented to Wisconsin voters.

After the resolution passes the second time, it goes to the voters in the next general election. The exact questions included in the second resolution will appear on the ballot. If a majority of voters answer “Yes,” the state constitution will be amended to include the policies in the resolution.

Obviously, this is a long and slow process. However, once the constitution is amended to include a new policy, for good or ill, it is nearly impossible to ever remove. That being said, Wisconsin voters have some big decisions coming up in this year’s elections and beyond.


August 13th Primary Election (Two Questions)

Legislative Oversight of Federal Funds

Gov. Evers has been on a spending spree ever since Congress started sending Wisconsin billions of dollars in covid relief aid. He’s been able to spend that at will, without any oversight from the legislature. The legislature has the constitutional responsibility to provide oversight over state spending. Assembly Joint Resolution 6 would ensure that that oversight includes federal funds provided to the state. Voters will get to decide two questions about this:

  • Question 1: “Delegation of appropriation power. Shall section 35 (1) of article IV of the constitution be created to provide that the legislature may not delegate its sole power to determine how moneys shall be appropriated?”
  • Question 2: “Allocation of federal moneys. Shall section 35 (2) of article IV of the constitution be created to prohibit the governor from allocating any federal moneys the governor accepts on behalf of the state without the approval of the legislature by joint resolution or as provided by legislative rule?”

November 5th General Election (One Question)

Ensuring Only US Citizens can Vote in Wisconsin Elections

You might take it for granted that only US citizens can vote in US elections. After all, according to the state constitution, “Every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district.” The left doesn’t think that necessarily excludes anyone who isn’t a citizen from voting. In fact, MacIver News has captured liberals on video in public hearings arguing that illegal aliens should be allowed to vote in Wisconsin elections. To ensure that you have to be a US citizen to vote in Wisconsin elections, lawmakers introduced Senate Joint Resolution 71. During the presidential election, voters will get to decide:

  • Question 1: “Eligibility to vote. Shall section 1 of article III of the constitution, which deals with suffrage, be amended to provide that only a United States citizen age 18 or older who resides in an election district may vote in an election for national, state, or local office or at a statewide or local referendum?”



First Resolution Approved

These resolutions were passed by both chambers of the legislature this session. They need to be reintroduced and passed next session before voters will see them on the ballot.

Freedom to Worship No Matter What

Yes, the constitution already protects our religious liberty, but apparently that was no match for the covid lockdowns. Senate Joint Resolution 54 would prevent government officials from ever trying to shutdown churches again.

Protecting Voter ID

Starting in 2011, Wisconsin voters were required to provide photo identification in order to vote; a commonsense provision to deter voter fraud. The left is determined to change that law. Senate Joint Resolution 73 would put it in the constitution, thereby all but settling the issue.

First Resolution Not Approved

These resolutions were introduced this session, but never received a vote. They will need to start the process over next session to advance.

Prohibit Ranked Choice VotingAssembly Joint Resolution 101

Prohibit Governor from using the line-item veto to increase spendingAssembly Joint Resolution 112

Prohibit government from making diversity hiresAssembly Joint Resolution 109