Today the State Supreme Court agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which claimed that the vetoes that Governor Evers used in the last budget are new laws, rather than vetoes of laws that were passed in the legislature.

The lawsuit references a number of vetoes, including the one that created a $75 million dollar grant program for local road projects. 

WILL asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly and to bypass the lower courts. Rick Esenberg from WILL admits that previous governors have done similar things,  but that WILL has not had the capacity to challenge these vetoes until recently. The Governor Veto in Wisconsin is particularly powerful and allows the Governor to do partial vetoes by crossing out individual words, numbers, and sentences from appropriations bills. Eight lawsuits have been brought in the past on appropriations vetoes in Wisconsin, which have resulted in some minor reigning-in of the veto. In particular, the "Vanna White" veto (which allowed rearrangement of letters) was removed in a 2009 constitutional amendment. It is not clear that this new lawsuit brings anything to the party that has not been argued in court in the past. Reading the suit does, however, provide and interesting history of the budget veto in Wisconsin.

Will has also filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission about the way that the commission si dealing with voters who may have moved and are flagged in the ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) database. Although the legislature has required that the state use the ERIC database, it is not clear that the law requires any particular action re: voters who may have moved. Following the rules that WILL would like to see put in place, the state could make more than 234,000 Wisconsin voters ineligible to vote in the upcoming presidential primary. The state currently waits for two years before removing voters who have moved, while WILL claims that voters must be purged within 30 days. The Elections Commission has issued a statement on the complaint.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley


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