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Senate Republicans vote to override nine Evers vetoes

Democrats call floor session an election-year stunt.
Posted at 9:21 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 10:21:57-04

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate voted Tuesday to override nine vetoes from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

It was a tense day on the Senate floor as Republican leaders silenced debate from Democrats on multiple occasions, prompting yelling and protest from lawmakers in the minority party.

“Today was the absolute worst display of lack of empathy for people’s health and lack of empathy for our democracy,” Democratic Sen. Jeff Smith said. “

Tuesday’s votes were mostly for show, since overriding a veto requires a vote in both chambers of the Legislature and Assembly Republicans don’t have the two-thirds majority required by state law. The overrides come as many Wisconsin Republicans are vying for reelection in new, more competitive districts.

Democrats labeled the surprise floor session a stunt to appeal to conservative voters. Republicans claimed it was a last chance for Democrats to change their mind on much-needed solutions.

The vetoed bills included solutions for hospital funding, teacher and health care worker licensing, combating chemical contamination, and managing wolf populations.

“I think the override of the vetoes is the end of the line here for these bills,” Republican Sen. Howard Marklein said. “I don’t see any other pathway, unfortunately.”

Democrats challenged that notion, calling for Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to release funds meant to combat PFAS contamination and help local hospitals without passing bills to dictate how that money can be spent.

“That money is sitting there in the Joint Finance Committee, and they refuse – for political purposes – to release that money so that people can get the emergency services they need,” Smith said.

To see why the governor vetoed each of the nine bills voted on today, Evers’ veto messages are linked below:

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 98: · SB98

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 139: SB139

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 145: SB145

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 312: SB312

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 517: SB517

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 736: SB736

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 917: SB917

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 932: SB932

Evers’ letter vetoing Senate Bill 1014: SB1014