MADISON (WKOW) — Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday he has decided to partially veto or veto entirely 78 provisions in the state budget before signing the two-year state spending plan.
Evers’ vetoes include eliminating a study to consider mileage-based fees and tolling to increase funding for transportation, eliminating work requirements and drug testing those who receive FoodShare benefits and investing more than $100 million more in per-pupil funding for schools.
“Vetoing this budget in its entirety would have meant failing to acknowledge that because of the budget we — the people of Wisconsin and I — proposed together, Republicans finally took a step forward in making the investments required for progress to occur,” said Evers at a press conference at the capitol.
The governor’s largest addition would invest $570 million more in K-12 schools, nearly $100 million more per pupil than what the Legislature passed last week.
Before Evers’ announcement, Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald criticized the Wisconsin Association of School Boards who wrote the governor a letter urging him to increase school funding with his veto pen.
Liberals had pleaded Evers to reject the entire two-year spending plan, and he said he considered doing that, but decided it would be petty and divisive and wouldn’t recognize the good elements of the budget.
“This is a good plan for K-12,” wrote Sen. Fitzgerald in a tweet Tuesday. “The governor should sign the Wisconsin budget right away so that schools around Wisconsin can start planning for the upcoming school year.”
The Governor’s vetoes also include:
- Eliminating funding to build a new maximum security prison in Green Bay.
- Removed a $2.5 million Transportation study to examine mileage-based fees and tolling.
- Vetoes requiring Dept. of Administration and Madison Police Department to conduct a study on security and safety measures at the Capitol. Instead, he directs Capitol Police to review and update, if necessary existing plans for security and safety at the capitol.
- Eliminates work requirements for those who used the FoodShare program that have school-aged children.
- Eliminates drug screenings for those to receive the same benefits.
You can watch the full news conference above, and the full Republican response below.
Written by WKOW’s Emilee Fannon and the Associated Press