Because Mr. Evers’ veto eliminated only whole words and digits, not combining two or more sentences to make a new sentence, it appeared to be legal, said Rick Champagne, director of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan agency which provides research and legal advice to state legislators.
« Governor Evers’ veto adheres to the constitutional requirements for a partial veto, » he said in an email.
The law could be challenged or appealed.
In 2017, Mr. Walker, the former governor, executed what has become known as the « millennial veto » by dropping the digits « 1 » and « 2 » from the date « Dec. 31, 2018, » changing the date to » December 3018″. The change, to a law involving school districts and energy efficiency projects, was challenged in court, but welcomed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the grounds that the appeal was not filed in a timely manner.
« We have no case law on the legality of a partial veto that would affect laws that span centuries, » Champagne said.
Nationally, Wisconsin is in the middle of the road when it comes to funding for public schools. Adjusting for local costs, Wisconsin spent approximately $15,000 per student in the 2019-20 school year, in line with the national average, according to the Education Law Center.
The new budget doesn’t automatically increase state spending every year. Rather, it allows school districts to increase their total revenue amount — which comes from a combination of state aid and property taxes — by $325 per student each year, the largest revenue cap increase in Wisconsin in more than a year. decade. If the legislature does not increase state aid in future years, school districts would have the authority to raise property taxes.
Predictably, there was little agreement that that was a good thing.
Tyler August, a Republican and State Assembly Majority Leader, called the governor’s move an « irresponsible veto that would blow the property tax cap, » adding, « Taxpayers need to remember that when they get their tax bills this December. » « .