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January 16, 2008

Frankenstein Veto Ban Goes To Voters


State Capitol, Madison...State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls) applauded a sweeping 94-1 bipartisan vote in the State Assembly that will enable Wisconsin voters to ban the Frankenstein Veto this April.  The Frankenstein Veto was named after specific partial vetoes in which Governor Doyle cobbled together unrelated words amongst many other sentences to create altogether new sentences and new laws without legislative approval. 

“Banning the Frankenstein Veto will help restore tax and spend accountability,” said Harsdorf.  “No governor should be able to use his veto to spend tax money no legislator ever voted for.”

Last session, the use of the Frankenstein Veto created a $427 million shortfall in the state’s transportation fund later filled by tax and fee increases; and this session the Governor used it to nearly double the allowable increase in property taxes.  While this was not the first time a governor used the partial veto in a ridiculous fashion, it was the first that appropriated hundreds-of-millions in taxpayer money without any legislative action.

“This is critical budget reform,” said Harsdorf.  “A system of checks and balances will build confidence in the budgeting process and help avoid budget delays.”

Harsdorf echoed her Democratic co-author of the legislation, State Senator Tim Carpenter (Milwaukee), in expressing that a ban of the Frankenstein Veto will foster a more cooperative approach to budgeting.

“I am pleased that after initial resistance, we were able to build bipartisan support for reform,” said Harsdorf.   “It is refreshing to see common-sense prevail over partisanship and it is a credit to the persistence of my Republican colleagues and the courage of my Democratic partners.”