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GOP Leaders Urge Evers To Approve State Budget

Lawmakers Warn Against Delays Stemming From Full Veto

Wisconsin State Capitol
Mike Steele (CC BY)

Republican legislative leaders are urging Gov. Tony Evers to wield his veto pen lightly and approve the state budget they passed earlier this week.

GOP lawmakers held multiple press conferences across the state Thursday to call on the governor not to issue a full veto of the roughly $82 billion budget.

The two-year spending plan approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature is very different from the one Evers proposed earlier this year. Lawmakers eliminated the governor’s proposed acceptance of more federal money to expand Medicaid, sharply scaled back his plan to increase K-12 education spending by $1.4 billion and bypassed a proposed gas tax increase.

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Evers has one of the most powerful veto pens in the country. He can eliminate specific words and numbers from the plan — or he could veto the entire bill, pushing the process back to square one.

Speaking at one of Thursday’s press events, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, urged Evers not to do that.

“I think it would be a big mistake for him, for Wisconsin, for the Legislature, if he vetoed the entire document,” Fitzgerald said.

The senator said returning the document to the Legislature would lead to major delays.

“Because I think, at the end of the day, it’s going to be very difficult to kind of pull this back together and pull this process back together to build something he would find acceptable,” he said.

Fitzgerald pointed out a delayed state budget could cause trouble for state agencies and public schools.

Evers hasn’t indicated what action he will take on the plan. However, he did tweet Thursday morning, asking lawmakers to send him the budget document as soon as possible.

Once the governor has possession of the bill, he has six days, not including Sundays, to act on it.