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Republicans denounce Evers’ veto wave

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin Republicans are up in arms about Gov. Tony Evers latest wave of vetoes.

The governor scuttled 40 Republican proposals. The list includes vetoes of a tax cut for retirees in the state, a plan to set a wolf hunt number and vetoes of a child care tax credit and a proposal to keep road salt out of the state’s drinking water, both of which Evers has said were his biggest priorities.

Republican lawmakers said the governor is simply playing politics.

“While I’m completely disappointed for the residents of Wisconsin, I am certainly not surprised by the governor’s action. This isn’t the first tax cut he has vetoed – signaling his belief that the government, not the taxpayers, will do a better job of spending the state’s multi-billion surplus. I couldn’t disagree more,” Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, said Monday.

State Rep. Elijah Behnke, R-Oconto, criticized the governor for vetoing the road salt legislation.

“Gov. Evers instead sided with trial lawyers despite increasing concern for the growing impact of road salt accumulating in our precious freshwater,” he said.

The road salt plan would have provided communities with incentives to cut their road salt use. New Hampshire, Illinois, Colorado and Minnesota already have similar programs.

Evers also scuttled a proposal that would have allowed local schools to hire superintendents who are not educators.

State Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said the idea was to give local schools more flexibility and open the pool for potential school administrators.

“Gov. Evers just proudly vetoed a bill that would have allowed school boards to exercise local control by choosing the superintendent of their liking. As a result, we remain locked in with some of the strictest licensing requirements in the region, which exacerbates our workforce problems,” Stroebel said. “Being superintendent is like being the CEO of a company. One does not need to have spent a lifetime in the field to effectively manage the professionals working for you. There are probably thousands of Wisconsinites who would do a great job serving their communities in this role who have not spent their entire careers licensed in a classroom. This veto maintains the absolute prohibition on locally elected officials considering anyone outside the box.”

The governor also vetoed legislation that would have created a teacher apprenticeship program.

Chris Reader with the Institute for Reforming Government said that veto will do nothing to improve Wisconsin’s teacher shortage.

“Teacher apprenticeships work for educators, taxpayers, and students. That’s why we are disappointed in Governor Evers’ decision to veto this bill. We cannot solve the teacher shortage with one hand tied behind our back. So, we look forward to working with the Administration, public and private schools, colleges, and First Nations to ensure every child has an incredible teacher,” Reader said.

Evers did sign more than a dozen new laws on Friday.

That list includes laws that expand Holocaust education in the state’s schools, a new plan to clarify the rules for urgent care facilities, and a one-year funding expansion for the state’s Office of School Safety.

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