Gov. Walker Agrees to K-12 Vetoes; WASB Submits Veto Requests

In order to secure votes from Senate GOP holdouts for the state budget, Gov. Walker agreed to several vetoes, including the following related to K-12 education:

  • Energy Efficiency Revenue Limit Exemption

Governor Walker originally proposed eliminating this exemption and the Legislature restored the program, albeit with a year-long moratorium preventing any projects for 2018. The Governor agreed to use his partial veto to alter the moratorium language.  It doesn’t appear he can repeal the language creating this exemption by using his partial veto pen.  However, it does appear he can creatively veto the moratorium provision in a way that would likely prevent districts that haven’t already adopted resolutions from being able to utilize this exemption for a very long time into the future.

  • School District Referenda Scheduling

The Legislature added a provision limiting when school districts can hold referenda to only on regularly-scheduled election days (spring primary or election or partisan primary or general election) or on the second Tuesday of November in odd-numbered years. Gov. Walker has agreed to veto the November of odd-numbered year option which would give districts no Fall opportunity in those years.

We are disappointed with these agreed-to vetoes and have sent a letter to Gov. Walker on these and other items we are requesting to be vetoed out of the budget bill. While we applaud and support the financial support proposed for public schools and a number of other items we support,  there are several items of major concern.

Read More: WASB Veto Letter to Gov. WalkerComparative Summary of Budget Budget Recommendations – Governor and Joint Committee on Finance (LFB)

Wisconsin’s governor has powerful but not unlimited ability to change things with his veto pen for bills that spend money.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Wisconsin governors have seen their veto powers reined in since the 1990s, but they’re still stunning in scope. Walker can delete whole sentences or even individual words or phrases to upend the intent of a bill section — for instance, nixing the word “not” to turn a prohibition from lawmakers into an invitation.

The governor can’t substitute a larger dollar figure for a smaller one in bills, but he can use his partial veto to lower the dollar amounts in spending bills.