Governor Evers Vetoes Dozens of Republican Bills

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Governor Evers Vetoes Dozens of Republican Bills

April 13, 2024 - 07:37
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The close of the Legislative session meant the passage of hundreds of Republican bills. Unfortunately, most of those important bills were blocked by the Governor. Read on for a summary of a couple bills he signed along with an overview of the most egregious vetoes, including tax cuts for seniors.

Guaranteed Admission to UW Schools
This bill was a result of our negotiations with UW System to cut DEI employees. This new law signed by Governor Evers ensures that high-performing Wisconsin high school students have a guaranteed place in our UW System schools. Those who are in the top 5% of their high school classes will be automatically admitted to UW-Madison. Those in the top 10% are automatically admitted to all other UW System schools.

Over the years we heard too many stories of Wisconsin's best and brightest being rejected from Wisconsin schools - especially UW Madison. While out-of-state students paying higher tuition were accepted in droves using DEI criteria that were never explained when inquiries were made.

To determine why so many in-state students were turned away, Chairman of the Colleges and Universities Committee, Rep. Dave Murphy, made an open records request of UW Madison to better understand their admittance criteria. It was ultimately turned over so heavily redacted that it was unreadable.

This bill goes a long way to making sure Wisconsin's best and brightest students know they are welcome at UW System schools and that merit and achievement - not race and identity - is the most important standard.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
We know the cost of everything is going up, including child care, which can be a huge expense for working families with young children. To help out with that, the Legislature passed and Governor Evers signed a bill that will bring a $656 average tax decrease for families with children in childcare. The change will increase allowable expenses under the state credit from $3,000 to $10,000 for one dependent and from $6,000 to $20,000 for two or more dependents.

Tax Cuts
Governor Evers vetoed a myriad of good tax cuts that would help middle-income tax payers and seniors in this very difficult economic time. Here is a list of those affected by the Governor's vetoes:
Filers in the second income tax bracket

  • Assembly Bill 1020 expanded the upper income limit of the second tax bracket, which would have provided $1.2 billion in tax relief, or an average of $454 per filer.

Married People

  • Assembly Bill 1022 would have increased the married couple credit from $480 to $870.

Senior Citizens

  • The veto of Assembly Bill 1021 is the worst of these bad tax cut vetoes. Had it not been vetoed, every senior in the state would have seen a tax cut to help preserve more of their retirement income. Under the bill, up to $75,000 of retirement income would have been tax-free for singles and up to $150,000 for married couples. This would have provided an annual average savings of $1,582 per filer.

Local Input in Refugee Resettlement
The current crisis at the border defies logic. Since the beginning of Joe Biden's presidency, 7.2 million people have crossed the border illegally - a number greater than the individual populations of 36 states. This unbelievable mismanagement has impacted every state in the nation, as some cities struggle to provide resources for their own citizens, let alone for those arriving illegally.

This is even affecting some small communities in Wisconsin. Whitewater estimates its population has grown between 800-1000 because of a resettlement of migrants from Nicaragua and Venezuela. Chippewa County has also faced challenges during a recent refugee resettlement.

Senate Bill 916 was a simple bill that required local input during refugee resettlements. It was vetoed by Governor Evers.

PFAS Contamination Assistance
Much concern has been raised over the last few years about "forever chemicals" known as PFAS found in the water supply in many Wisconsin communities. To address some of the cleanup costs, Senate Bill 312 established a grant program of $125 million to assist municipalities and innocent landowners. Had it not been vetoed, the bill would have protected landowners from DNR enforcement if they did not cause the contamination.

Parental Bill of Rights
This bill would have given the right to parents to receive notice of and to opt out of certain educational topics taught to their children, as well as given access and allowed review of certain learning materials. The last few years have brought about huge changes in our public education system, resulting in a greater focus on political and social issues and less focus on teaching basic reading, writing and arithmetic. Sadly, fewer than 40% of Wisconsin students were proficient in reading during the 2023-23 school year.

Governor Evers' veto is disappointing but not surprising, given he has proven many times over he doesn't trust parents to make the best education decisions for their kids.

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