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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110560
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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This is a government question. I dont know if this pertains

Customer Question

This is a government question. I dont know if this pertains to state or local law. I live in Ashland, WI and the current city council is attempting to amend and change a current city ordinance that was voted on 5.5 years ago in a BINDING referendum. Can the council change a BINDING referendum or is there another procedure that must happen?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
There are no general “binding referendum” statutes, common law or principal of law in Wisconsin that prohibits a municipality from amending or repealing an ordinance or resolution adopted by a “binding” referendum. A referendum is binding in that if the referendum fails and the voters do not approve of the referendum, then they cannot move forward on the matter until a subsequent referendum approves it.
A “binding referendum” is not really binding forever, because there is no statute or other common law precedent that prevents a village from repealing or amending the “binding” referendum originally passed. Under legislative and legal principals prohibit a legislative body from passing a law (or in the case of a village — passing an ordinance or resolution by binding referendum) that cannot be subsequently amended or repealed by the legislative body.