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Evers vetoes worker freedom for young teens

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(The Center Square) – Younger teenagers in Wisconsin will still need permission to work a summer job.

Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a plan that would have eliminated work permits for 14- and 15-year-olds. The governor says the plan rolled back protections for children and was wrong for the state’s economy.

“The bill before me today, Senate Bill 436, isn’t a serious proposal to address generational statewide issues. This bill is wrong for our kids and wrong for our state,” Evers told a crowd in Madison.

Evers said the proposal “weakens child labor protections” and “eliminates the process that ensures parents and guardians have knowledge of employment.”

Unions in Wisconsin cheered the governor’s veto.

“Gov. Evers continues to stand up for the safety of our kids by protecting child labor law in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale said in a statement. “The important work permit process for 14- and 15-year-olds keeps parents’ rights intact and helps kids stay safe on the job.”

Business groups and Republican lawmakers have said for months there are thousands of jobs that need to be filled and allowing younger teens to work is a good thing.

But the most pointed critique of the governor’s veto came from Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine.

“To be clear, Gov. Evers thinks a 14-year-old CANNOT work without his/her parents’ permission, but he thinks a 14-year-old CAN CUT OFF HIS/HER PRIVATE PARTS WITHOUT HIS/HER PARENTS’ PERMISSION,” Wanggaard said on social media.

Younger teens in Wisconsin can still get jobs, but they first need a permit from the state and their parent’s permission.

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