Boots & Sabers

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2310, 10 Jul 19

Amending Governor’s Powerful Veto

Governor Baldauff isn’t wrong.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ spokeswoman is calling a Republican proposal to limit his partial veto powers a “temper tantrum.”

Republicans have introduced a constitutional amendment prohibit the governor from increasing funding levels in bills that appropriate money. The move comes after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers used his partial veto powers last week to increase funding for K-12 schools by $65 million in the state budget.

Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said in an email that the amendment is a “temper tantrum” in response to Evers using his partial veto authority to bring the budget closer to want people wanted. She says Republicans are sore losers who want to change the rules whenever they don’t get their way.

The problem is that whoever proposed amending the governor’s veto powers will be accused of throwing a tantrum or political gamesmanship because it will always be in response to some outrage. But it is worth having a serious discussion about how powerful the governor’s veto is. Should one man or woman have that much power? I don’t care who the governor is, that’s a lot of power for one person to hold. Wisconsinites wisely peeled back the Vanna White veto where the governor could veto individual letters to make new words. Should they take the next step and restrict the line item veto?

IMHO, we should restrict this power. Concentrated power is always dangerous. But this is probably not the time to do it.


2310, 10 July 2019


  1. Jason

    I had really hoped that during the Walker years it would have been done.

  2. Owen

    That’s when it needs to be done… when one party has the legislature and governor. Or, at least, one party has one house of the legislature and the governor. I would position it as a good government reform and run on it.

  3. steveegg

    The governor, by design, has no more voice, and no less voice, in a constitutional amendment than you or I.

    As for timing, the first Legislature passage of the no-Vanna-White veto amendment would have run afoul of your wishes, as it was the Republican-controlled Legislature which did so while Vanna Doyle was governor.  Indeed, I would argue that now is the perfect time as it would be just possible to get it on the April 2021 ballot ahead of the next budget battle (assuming the next Legislature sees it as a top priority).

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