MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments Monday in a pair of lawsuits seeking to rein in the governor’s partial veto authority.
Decisions for the plaintiffs could drastically reduce the governor’s power to unilaterally alter final spending figures as well as the start and end dates for programs in future state budgets and spending bills.
In the first case, three taxpayers represented by conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty are looking to overturn four of Evers’ 78 partial vetoes in the 2019-21 state budget. They argue he illegally used his powers to create new laws the Legislature never approved. The lawsuit asks the court to overturn a 1978 ruling in a similar case that determined the governor could enact new policy through his partial veto.
In the other case, Wisconsin Small Businesses United is challenging two vetoes former Republican Gov. Scott Walker made in the 2017-19 state budget. Walker extended a one-year moratorium on a program that allows schools to raise revenue limits to offset spending on energy efficiency to a thousand years and changed the start date for retailers’ tax deductions for unpaid store credit card debt from mid-2018 to mid-2078.