ICYMI: Senate Republicans’ Effort to Override Gov. Tony Evers’ Vetoes Fails

May 17, 2024

ICYMI: Senate Republicans’ Effort to Override Gov. Tony Evers’ Vetoes Fails

MADISON, Wis. — Today, the Wisconsin State Journal detailed the failure of Senate Republicans to overturn several of Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes. Instead of taking real action and releasing already-approved funds to save rural hospitals and clean pollutants from drinking water, Wisconsin Republicans instead held show votes to override vetoes before adjourning for the year. 

Wisconsin State Journal: Senate Republicans’ effort to override Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes appears to fail

Senate Republicans’ attempt to overturn several of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes appears to have failed to cross the finish line following inaction from the state Assembly.

Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to override nine vetoes issued by Evers, including vetoes of bills aimed at addressing “forever chemical” contaminants in state waterways and providing funds to western Wisconsin counties burdened by recent hospital closures.

That effort failed after the state Assembly took no action on the override attempts before the conclusion of the Wednesday veto review floor period established in state rules. As a result, Evers’ vetoes remain in place. 

Lawmakers still have the ability to convene in extraordinary or special session to consider veto overrides, though such a scenario appears unlikely as lawmakers shift from the Capitol to the campaign trail for the November election.

While Republicans hold a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate, the GOP is two seats short of a similar majority in the Assembly. A two-thirds vote is needed in both chambers to override a governor’s veto.

The veto overrides passed the Senate largely along party lines. Among the override votes taken Tuesday, one aimed to revive a GOP-authored bill that would have spent $125 million on grants to combat PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, in Wisconsin’s waterways. Evers has instead called on lawmakers to release those funds directly to the state Department of Natural Resources, citing concerns the bill would make it difficult to hold polluters accountable.

Other sustained vetoes include those issued to bills that would have provided $15 million to hospitals in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties to help mitigate the impact of recent closures in the area, and would have required a population goal for wolves to be enforced if the gray wolf is delisted as an endangered species.

Also standing will be Evers’ vetoes of bills that would have required the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct performance audits after every general election in the state; altered requirements for teacher apprenticeship programs; and required the state Department of Transportation to add the words “Not valid for voting purposes” to identification cards for individuals who are not U.S. citizens.