Date: December 7, 2018
Contact: Peter Barca, 608.266.5504

Be Consistent and Be Gracious, Veto Lame Duck Bills

MADISON – Today Representative Peter W. Barca (Kenosha/Racine) called on Governor Scott Walker to veto the lame duck session proposals, either in their entirety or a least through partial vetoes where possible, to remove aspects that mirror provision he himself had vetoed in the current state budget earlier this biennium.

“I join the voters of this state who have expressed their overwhelming opposition to these lame duck, democracy-denying bills based on their contents and believe they should be vetoed because they are wrong for Wisconsin,” Representative Barca said. “However, there is another reason why Governor Walker should veto these bills. To be consistent.”

Governor Walker had previously vetoed a number of identical or essentially identical provisions earlier this session when he was presented with the state budget. His own veto message notes his substantial concerns with some of these provisions. It states that Governor Walker would ‘object to the limitations created,’ that he believes ‘these requirements will infringe on’ state agencies’ abilities to negotiate, and that he would ‘object to the creation of unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements.’

“If Governor Walker believed these provisions would have unduly or unnecessarily constrained the operations of his office and administration, how could he support their inclusion in these proposals now?” Representative Barca asked. “It would be the height of hypocrisy for Walker to say that he believes these requirements should not apply to him, but should apply to the successor that defeated him.”

Governor Walker clearly understands the ramifications of this situation, as during his transition into office, he sent a letter to Governor Doyle imploring the outgoing administration not to take a number of executive actions during the post-election, lame duck period.

“I call on Governor Walker to show integrity and decency and to be consistent regarding these lame duck proposals,” Barca said. “As we are just going through the wonderful memorial ceremonies for President Bush it was prominently detailed how gracious he was to his successor, President Clinton, and history has been kind to him because of the type of character he demonstrated throughout his life. Governor Walker should veto these bills. He should do it for the voters of this state. He should do it for his own legacy. And he should do it because that is the way gracious leaders of character conduct themselves."

Attached is a memo based on the list of vetoed provisions obtained from the Legislative Reference Bureau, the summary of lame duck bills and budget vetoes from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, and Governor Walker’s message on why he vetoed them.