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Gov. Evers vetoes $3 billion Republican tax cut, wolf hunting plan, DEI loyalty ban

staticwire | April 3, 2024
AP Tony Evers AP Photo Andy Manis File scaled

In a bold move, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed a record-breaking 41 bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature on Friday, making him the governor with the most vetoed bills in Wisconsin history. Among the bills rejected were a $3 billion Republican tax cut, a mandate for political loyalty pledges from higher education employees, and a plan establishing how many wolves can be hunted each year.

Despite these rejections, Evers did sign a bipartisan bill allocating $400,000 to support Holocaust education in Wisconsin schools. This funding will go to the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center to aid in the implementation of a 2021 law requiring Holocaust education in grades 5 through 12 statewide.

Another bipartisan bill signed by Evers aims to increase the number of mental health crisis centers across the state, showing his commitment to addressing mental health issues in Wisconsin.

Evers also vetoed a bill that would have prohibited higher education institutions from conditioning employment and admission decisions on diversity statements, a move seen as part of a broader effort by Republicans to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on university campuses.

Additionally, Evers rejected a bill that would have allowed school boards to hire superintendents without a license from the state education department. Despite claims that this would help alleviate turnover in superintendent positions statewide, Evers, a former principal and school district superintendent, argued that the lack of standards for the position was unacceptable.

In a controversial decision, Evers signed a bill allowing fees to be charged for redacting recorded audio and video content provided under open records requests, a move opposed by media organizations and open records advocates but supported by law enforcement agencies.

One of the most significant bills vetoed by Evers was the GOP tax cut bill, which would have reduced state income tax rates and excluded the first $150,000 of retirement income from taxes for couples over 67. Evers called the $3.2 billion tax cut “fiscally irresponsible” and asserted that it would have jeopardized the state’s ability to meet essential obligations such as funding schools and prisons.

Furthermore, Evers vetoed a bill that would have required state wildlife managers to set a firm numeric goal for the state’s wolf population. Despite pressure from hunting advocates, Evers argued that setting a population limit does not consider the complexities of managing a recovered wolf population and objected to the Legislature micromanaging the Department of Natural Resources.

Governor Evers’s series of vetoes highlights his commitment to upholding his principles and protecting the interests of the people of Wisconsin, even in the face of significant opposition from the Republican-led Legislature. His actions demonstrate a willingness to prioritize education, mental health, and responsible governance over political expediency and potentially harmful policies.

Written by staticwire

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