The decade's most triggering comedy
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers used his veto power as governor to increase funding for public schools for 400 years.
The Democrat created the four century plan by deleting the “20” and the dash from “2024-2025,” extending an increase in per-pupil spending by $325 per year until 2425 — 402 years from now.
Evers said at a news conference Wednesday that his action would “provide school districts with predictable long-term increases for the foreseeable future,” USA Today reported.
The governor of Wisconsin has the greatest veto power of any governor in the country, allowing the state’s chief executive to strike out words and numbers to reshape a law to be far different from what the legislature intended.
The governor used to be able to strike out individual letters — a practice known as the “Vanna White veto” — but voters revoked that power by referendum in 1990. Past governors have used the veto, with Republican Scott Walker using a “thousand year veto” by extending a program deadline from 2018 to 3018.
Evers’ veto prompted Jeopardy host Ken Jennings to joke that he wanted to run for Wisconsin governor so he can wield the powerful veto pen.
Running for Wisconsin governor just so I can strike out letters in an appropriations bill to make it a “poop bill.” https://t.co/IZuKQo0P6g
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) July 5, 2023
Evers’ shocking veto was among the over 50 line-item vetoes Evers made to morph the $99 billion budget Republicans passed for 2023-2025 into his own image. Among the vetoed lines was a $3.5 billion tax cut championed by the state’s Republican leaders.
Households making between $36,840 and $405,550 would have seen a 17% cut in their state income taxes under the Republicans’ plan — but Evers refused to allow those families’ taxes to decrease when he vetoed that provision.
Evers also vetoed a plan by state Republicans to cut funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at the University of Wisconsin, allowing the state’s flagship university system to keep those positions in place.
“Republicans in the Legislature have failed to meet this historic moment, sending my budget back to my desk absent critical investments in key areas that they know … are essential to the success of our state,” Evers’ veto statement said. “That decision is, to put it simply, an abdication of duty.”
Wisconsin House of Representatives Speaker Robin Vos vowed to overturn Evers’ vetoes, especially his veto of the tax cuts, saying Republicans will “stand up and fight.”
“We want to make sure the people of Wisconsin remember who’s on their side and who’s not,” he said. “We are not going to lay down.”