Wisconsin Legislative Republicans Seek to Curtail Governor’s Veto Power

Wisconsin Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would curtail the governor’s veto powers by prohibiting a veto to increase any tax or fee.

The move comes after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers used his partial veto in July to increase school funding for public schools for the next 400 years. Republicans proposed a similar amendment in 2019 after Evers used his partial veto to increase school funding by $65 million, but it did not get a vote in the Legislature.

Wisconsin governors have the most expansive partial veto power in the country because, unlike in other states, they can strike nearly any part of a budget bill. That includes wiping out numbers, punctuation and words in spending bills to sometimes create new law that wasn’t the intention of the Legislature.

If passed by the Legislature in two consecutive sessions, they are then put on the ballot for voter approval. That means the soonest the latest proposal could be adopted would be 2025.