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The Latest: Assembly leader criticizes Evers budget vetoes

July 3, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Tony Evers signing the Wisconsin state budget (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

The state Assembly’s top Republican is attacking Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ partial budget vetoes.

Evers made 78 partial vetoes to the spending plan before he signed it Wednesday. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a statement saying the budget deserved to be signed without political partial vetoes. He says the vetoes shave dollars off important programs, give government bureaucrats more spending authority and allow people to cheat the welfare system.

He took particular issue with a partial veto that effectively blocks new drug test and work requirements for adults on the state’s food stamp program, saying Evers seems intent on trapping people on welfare. He called that veto a shortsighted political move that insults hard-working men and women.

Vos praised Republican legislators for revising the budget into a more fiscally responsible plan, saying Wisconsin has a good budget thanks to them.

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12:50 p.m.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is pleased that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed the state budget.

Fitzgerald dismissed Evers’ 78 partial vetoes, calling them “minimal changes.” He says Evers “basically signed the Republican version of the budget today.”

Fitzgerald says Evers was within his “purview” with a veto that increased K-12 education funding by $87 million. In total, school funding will go up about $570 million under the budget.

Fitzgerald says he hasn’t spoken with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos about any potential veto overrides. Republicans don’t have enough votes to override any vetoes without Democratic support.

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12:45 p.m.

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is both praising the state budget and offering some oblique criticism.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed the budget Wednesday. Republicans revised the spending plan gives the system $1 billion for building projects and $58 million in new operational aid, far less than the $150 million Evers proposed, and kept a tuition freeze in place. Cross called the reduced operational funding a “kick in the shins” when it was announced.

Cross issued a statement Wednesday thanking Evers for signing the budget and legislative leaders for playing a key role in championing fundamental projects. But he added that preserving educational quality as tuition remains frozen will require operational investments.

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12:20 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers says he will continue the fight for Medicaid expansion, after signing a state budget that does not include his proposal.

That was one of the biggest defeats for the Democrat Evers in the budget he signed Wednesday. Evers made 78 partial vetoes to the plan, including moves that increased overall K-12 education funding by $65 million.

Evers was joined at a signing ceremony in the Capitol by Democratic lawmakers, all of whom voted against the budget because they said it didn’t do enough.

But Evers says it makes advances in key areas, including road funding and money for schools.

Evers says he will also continue the push for nonpartisan redistricting reform, a proposal Republicans also rejected in this budget and have long opposed.

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11:15 a.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has made 78 partial vetoes to the state budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Evers signed the budget Wednesday, ignoring pleas from some liberals who wanted the new Democratic governor to reject the entire two-year spending plan.

Evers says he considered doing that, but decided it would be petty and divisive and wouldn’t recognize the good elements of the budget.

Instead, Evers took a more moderate approach, using his broad veto powers to increase the proposed funding for K-12 schools by $87 million. He also eliminated a provision benefiting electric car manufacturer Tesla that was a late addition to the budget.

Republicans had urged Evers to sign the $82 billion budget, which they cast as a compromise. Republicans don’t have the votes to override his vetoes.

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