Wisconsin Governor Doctors a Bill as a ‘Partial Veto’ to Fund Schools for 400 Years

(AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File)

Remember this quote from Barack Obama? “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone — and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

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Yeah, good times. Actually, compared to President Resident, it could be argued that the Obama Era was not all that bad. Oh, who I am kidding? This is Obama 2.0, and this time, it’s personal. But Obama did perfect the practice of leaders achieving whatever they may want with an executive order. Witness the first few days of Resident’s administration in which the orders were flying out of the Oval Office at a fever pitch.

Gov. Tony Evers (D-Wisc.) has a phone, probably several, and I am sure there are always pens within reach. He recently took one of those pens in hand, not to issue an executive order, but to enact a “partial veto” by essentially doctoring a bill on his desk — specifically, a bill to fund public schools in Wisconsin for the 2024-25 school year. Evers crossed out the 20 and the hyphen. In doing so, he created an increase in revenue per student by $325 per year until 2425. If the law is still in place by that time, the state will be spending more than $130,000 per student than the state currently allocates. Of course, it is 400 years away.

Heh. That’s a good one. Comedy gold right there.

I’m not sure if Evers’ move was meant to be comedic or send a message or if it was an actual attempt to change the original bill, which was approved by the Republican state legislature. But it was certainly a move that was in keeping with the character of the Democrat Party, of which Evers is a member, namely, spending large sums of money on a whim and without forethought and using the fastest method to do so, whether said move is legal or not. And of course, thumbing one’s nose at the nearby members of the GOP is always a nice bonus.

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Speaking of legality, Evers’ stunt may have some ramifications. A non-profit law firm called the Wisconsin Institute of Law & Liberty is thinking of filing suit. Deputy counsel Lucas Vebber told Fox News:

I think objectively, it is inherently undemocratic… Legal action is possible, that’s something that we’re looking at. I’m sure others are looking at it as well. Here you have the people who elected the legislature and are represented here in Wisconsin, in the Senate Assembly to write laws, have written a law they intended. The governor’s veto makes it something completely different.

Vebber said that such things have been done in the past and are referred to as “Vanna White vetoes,” in which governors cross out individual letters to create new words. While Wisconsin governors enjoy broad veto powers, Vanna White vetoes were barred in 2000. The question that may be addressed in court is whether or not the same prohibition applies to numbers. And if the move isn’t overturned in court or addressed by future legislation, it will stand.

Evers knows that his veto is an absurd act of grandstanding. But if it is not, he also knows that he is enjoying a victory at the expense of his political enemies. The fact that an unthinkably large tab will be due in 400 years is of course not his problem. Someone else will deal with it. This makes the veto a perfect example of dysfunctional progressive policies. Progressives apply this same type of reckless, destructive thinking to short-term issues with the idea that someone else will always take responsibility for the messes that they create and refuse to acknowledge.

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