Gov. Evers Signs Wisconsin Budget With 78 Partial Vetoes

Jul 3, 2019

Updated at 2:20 p.m. CT

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers made 78 partial vetoes to the state budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature before signing it Wednesday, ignoring pleas from some liberals who wanted the new Democratic governor to reject the entire two-year spending plan.

The Republican-crafted state budget is in the hands of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Both houses of the Legislature approved the two-year spending plan this week, after the GOP stripped Evers' major policy proposals, and made other big changes.  

Evers can sign the GOP budget, veto it or alter it with his "line-item" veto power.  The office of Wisconsin governor is said to have one of the most powerful veto pens in the country.  That power has survived court challenges.  

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The state budget that's headed to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers contains language added by Republicans this week that would make it easier to sell Tesla-brand cars in Wisconsin.  

Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, voted for the budget. He sells rebuilt Tesla vehicles and Tesla parts. The GOP lawmaker tearfully denied Wednesday that the amendment would benefit him.


Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate approved a two-year spending plan Wednesday, with just a one vote majority. The Assembly passed the budget earlier this week.

The budget now goes to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who could make some big changes. The office of the Wisconsin governor is known for having “the most powerful veto pen in the country.” Senate Democrats spent much of Wednesday blasting the Republican plan.


Wisconsin's next biennial budget is now in the hands of the state Senate. That’s after the Republican-led Assembly approved the spending plan Tuesday night, on a party-line vote of 60 to 39.

Democrats were unsuccessful in efforts to amend the budget. But Assembly Republicans made some changes, in an attempt to make the proposal more palatable to skeptical colleagues in the Senate.

The 31 GOP amendments include one that slightly reduces property tax increases and another that would give counties more prosecutors.

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The GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to approve a roughly $321 million middle-class tax cut. It was the third attempt to find an income tax cut that both the GOP and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers can agree on. But Democrats on the committee were skeptical.

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The budget debate continues at the state capitol. Late Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Finance worked through most of the remaining items on its agenda. So far, the GOP-controlled committee has rejected most of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers initiatives.

Emily Files

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is calling Republican lawmakers’ UW funding proposal "micromanaging" and a "missed opportunity."

Cross was in Milwaukee for a Board of Regents meeting this week. It was the first regents gathering since the Joint Committee on Finance surprised UW leaders with its spending plan. The budget-writing committee voted along party lines to advance a $58 million increase for UW schools over the next two years.  

Chuck Quirmbach

The state Legislature's budget committee has recommended shrinking the size of a proposed expansion of higher-speed internet service across Wisconsin. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee also wants to block additional money to help a consumer group challenge residential rate cases brought by state utilities.

Both items were considered Thursday night, as part of  the state budget proposal for the Public Service Commission (PSC). 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a plan to fund road repairs. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance committee Thursday night scrapped Gov. Tony Evers proposal for an 8-cent per gallon gas tax – and instead passed a measure to raise title and vehicle registration fees. The vote was 11-5, along party lines.

Emily Files

The new, union-backed Milwaukee School Board was responsive to employee concerns as it adjusted and approved the district’s $1.2 billion budget for the upcoming school year.

In a marathon meeting Thursday night, the board shifted dollars to provide increases for things like mental health staff, restorative practice leaders, and bilingual education.

Emily Files / WUWM

The Wisconsin Policy Forum’s annual Milwaukee Public Schools Budget Brief details the long-term financial insecurity facing MPS, even though Superintendent Keith Posley has constructed a $1.2 billion budget for the upcoming school year that protects classrooms from cuts.

"This was a difficult budget to size up," says Policy Forum President Rob Henken. "On the one hand, you do see what seems like an easing of fiscal pressures."

Emily Files

Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature have rejected Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to increase K-12 spending by $1.4 billion over the next two years.

Instead, the Joint Committee on Finance advanced a plan Tuesday that would boost school funding by about $500 million.

Republicans called it a "pro-kid budget." But Democrats and Milwaukee school officials lambasted the proposal, saying it falls far short.

katie wheeler / Flickr

The battle between Democrats and Republicans over the next two-year state budget is in full swing.

Tuesday, members of the Joint Committee on Finance voted unanimously on several measures meant to improve water quality. They included Gov. Tony Evers' plan to borrow $13.5 million for the clean water program and $3.6 million for the safe drinking water loan program.

» Tony Evers Chats About Wisconsin's 'Year Of Clean Drinking Water'

Emily Files

The Milwaukee Public School District is beginning another difficult budget process.

New Superintendent Keith Posley is proposing a $1.2 billion spending plan for the 2019-2020 school year. It includes a modest boost in classroom funding, including 62 new teacher positions and 22 educational assistants.