Wisconsin Assembly to attempt first veto overrides in 9 years

Gov. Tony Evers signs biennial budget (WBAY photo)
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Republican majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly is leading the push to override three partial budget vetoes by Gov. Tony Evers.

The override attempt will be the first in Wisconsin in nearly a decade.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) sent his colleagues a letter Wednesday urging for support of the overrides on Thursday. Steineke says he is "hopeful" and has his "fingers crossed" that Democrats can be persuaded.

But Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) says that no Democrats will support the votes. Republicans need Democratic backing to be successful.

The Senate would also have to override and Republicans don't have enough votes there, either.

The vetoes killed $15 million in funding to create a northern Wisconsin regional crisis center, instead allowing the money to be used to expand Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center in Madison; blocked $5 million a year for doctors who care for people in state health care programs; and gave the Evers administration more flexibility in how to spend $500,000 to increase the number of health care providers, nixing the Legislature’s plan to create a new grant program.

Under a rule change Republicans approved last month, the veto overrides can be attempted multiple times. Democrats objected to the change, saying it opened the door to Republicans attempting to have surprise votes when Democrats are absent and the numbers are in the GOP’s favor.

Steineke said Tuesday that only one vote attempt would be made for each of the three items.