Wisconsin’s Democrat Governor Tony Evers made use of his expansive line-item veto powers to alter a line in the state budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday, that will stipulate education spending to increase annually for the next 400 years, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.
Evers used his line-item veto to edit the line mandating a $325 per student spending increase for the 2024-2025 school year by removing the “20” and the hyphen so it read, “2425.”
This bizarre edit was just one of over four dozen budget provisions Evers either vetoed or altered, the Journal-Sentinel reported.
Among the other items vetoed was a $3.5 billion tax cut that would have included tax relief to wealthy residents of Wisconsin.
The Republican-controlled legislature rejected most of Governor Evers’ budget proposal which included an expansion of Medicaid, paid family leave, legalizing marijuana, and funding for mental health programs in schools.
In an interview with WISN radio on Thursday, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said GOP lawmakers would try to override Evers’ line-item vetoes, but conceded that it would not be easy, the Associated Press reported.
Vos claimed that the edit changing the school funding increase for 400 years was “an unprecedented, brand new way” of screwing Wisconsin taxpayers. The Republican speaker said no previous governor would have tried such a move.
However, in 2017, former Republican Governor Scott Walker used the same line-item veto power to extend a state program deadline from 2018 to 3018. According to the Associated Press, this particular edit was famously known as the “thousand-year veto.”
Governors in Wisconsin are granted the most expansive line-item veto power in the United States, allowing them to veto nearly any part of a budget bill by striking out numbers, punctuation, and words, often resulting in the creation of new laws that were not intended by the legislative branch.