Madison, Wis. – New coverage from WPR today shows how Gov. Evers used his veto pen to protect Wisconsinites from the radical Republican agenda. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that if Tim Michels became governor, there would be no control of the legislature, potentially making Wisconsin a playground for the GOP’s worst policy ideas.
Tim Michels has said that as governor he looks forward to working with lawmakers and “getting these bills right” that Governor Evers has vetoed, including a bill that would endanger students by allowing loaded guns on school grounds would be allowed. Legislative Republicans eagerly await returning to unchecked power in Wisconsin after four years of curtailing their disastrous policy proposals, with Speaker Vos promising “every single thing that Gov. Evers has vetoed” again brought before the legislature, and “hopefully all of it will become law.”
Governor Evers has defied Republican extremism more than 120 times since taking office, halting GOP efforts to limit access to reproductive care, weaken gun safety regulations, divert funding from public education and redirect it to unaccountable private schools and making them more difficult for eligible voters to cast their votes in Wisconsin. Without the sound leadership of Governor Evers, the signing of bills that would apply to all of Wisconsin, and the vetoing of bills that would harm our state, Wisconsin would be almost unrecognizable today.
Read more about how Gov. Evers protected Wisconsin from GOP extremism:
WPR: Tony Evers and Tim Michels agree: Ever’s veto pin is the only impediment to 100+ GOP bills
“Sometimes one can only guess what candidates for public office would actually do if elected. But in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race, voters have been given more than 120 examples of what to expect.
“These are all laws that passed the Republican-dominated legislature, only to be defeated by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. In Wisconsin history, no governor has vetoed more bills in a single sitting than he has.
Evers vetoed bills that would have expanded gun rights, including one that would protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits and another that stated federal bans on assault weapons would not apply in Wisconsin. He vetoed a long list of changes to Wisconsin’s safety-net programs, including one that would have cut unemployment benefits by up to 12 weeks. He vetoed laws that would have dramatically changed Wisconsin’s education system, including one that would have allowed all students to receive state-funded private school vouchers regardless of family income. And he vetoed some 20 plans to change Wisconsin’s electoral laws, many of which would have added hurdles to absenteeism.
“During a campaign rally last month in Union Grove, Michels angered the crowd as he focused on the nomination proposals and made a promise to Republicans.
“‘We’re going to take on these bills — these bills that Tony Evers vetoed,'” Michels said. “We’re going to make them right. I will sign it.’
“At the same event, Robin Vos, Speaker of the Republican Convention, Evers’ opponent in the Legislature, went a step further.
“‘I promise you, when we’re here with Gov. Michels a year from now, every single thing that Gov. Evers vetoed will be under scrutiny by the Legislature,’ Vos said. “And hopefully all of it will become law.”
“This is an area where Michels and Evers are on the same page. Both say the future of those vetoes depends on who wins their race.
“If Michels wins, these bills can be brought back into the next legislature and Michels can sign them.
“And if Michels loses and Evers is governor again, those bills are probably going nowhere.
“During a September campaign halt at a coffee shop near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the college Democrats who came out to support Evers were well aware of his veto. Several said they were concerned about the dramatic changes the state government could face if Evers lost.
“‘I think in a democracy you need balanced votes,’ said Rianna Mukherjee, a senior at UW-Madison with a major in political science. “Our Republican legislature does not balance votes.”
“Without a Democrat for governor … I worry that Republicans will have too much control,” said Elliot Petroff, a sophomore majoring in political science. “We need to be able to veto things and there’s no other opposition right now that can do that.”
“Several students mentioned certain bills that Evers had vetoed, including some that would allow abortions before the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade knocked down. Grant Hall, a sophomore studying computer science and data science, referred to the electoral laws.
“‘I’m afraid that if he’s not re-elected, Wisconsin voting rights are going to take a big hit,’ Hall said. “I think those bills would happen fairly easily, and that’s frightening.”
“Evers’ speech to students dealt with other topics. He told them what he was for — supporting higher education, restoring abortion rights, and legalizing marijuana.
“In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio after his speech, Evers said voters were aware of his record-breaking laws, which most people oppose.
“‘My vetoes reflect my belief system,’ Evers said. “I think people understand that part of my job over the next four years will be to be that goalkeeper. And prevent bad legislation from becoming law.’
“And the vetoes only tell part of the story. Evers has also called several special sessions of the Legislature to try to force lawmakers to vote on their issues, like lifting the state’s ban on abortion, expanding Medicaid, or passing tougher gun laws. GOP leaders have responded with the bare minimum, going in and out of sessions without debate.
“Evers has also used his powers as governor to introduce budget legislation packed with policies he wants. Historically, that’s where the Legislature began its budget deliberations, but Republicans took a different approach with Evers, rejecting hundreds of his proposals at once and building their own budgets from the ground up.
“[Evers] said he was the only person stopping these bills and others from becoming law.
“‘I mean, they promised,’ Evers said. “The vast majority of them will come back as soon as possible. And (Michels) will sign it. Absolutely. It’s a statement of his value system, which I think is why people should vote for me.’”