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Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear challenge to Evers’ veto that increased school funding for 400 years

By striking out "20" and a hyphen last summer, Evers set funding to end in 2425

The entrance to the Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers is seen in the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. March 14, 2024. A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday asked for arguments within two days related to a question over what legislative boundaries should be in place for a potential recall election organized by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Todd Richmond/AP Photo, File

 The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto that locked in a school funding increase for the next 400 years, the justices announced Monday.

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Litigation Center filed a lawsuit in April arguing the governor exceeded his authority. The group asked the high court to strike down the veto without waiting for the case to go through lower courts.

The court issued an order Monday afternoon saying it would take the case. The justices didn’t elaborate beyond setting a briefing schedule.

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At issue is a partial veto Evers made in the state budget in July 2023 that increased revenue public schools can raise per student by $325 annually until 2425. Evers took language that originally applied the $325 increase for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years and vetoed the “20” and the hyphen to make the end date 2425, more than four centuries from now.

Wisconsin governors, both Republican and Democratic, have long used the broad partial veto power to reshape the state budget. It’s an act of gamesmanship between the governor and Legislature, as lawmakers try to craft bills in a way that are largely immune from creative vetoes. The lawsuit contends that Evers exceeded his veto authority and his action was unconstitutional.

Liberal justices currently control the state Supreme Court, increasing the chances Evers will ultimately prevail.