Evers Vetoes Election Reforms, Other Proposals

Friday, April 8, Governor Evers took action on 78 bills, signing 35 and vetoing 43.

Among the bills he vetoed were a package of bills the Legislature passed earlier this year to improve the integrity of Wisconsin's elections, including:

  • Senate Bill 937, which tightens up the rules for indefinitely confined voters.
  • Senate Bill 939, which prohibits ballot harvesting and makes several other changes to the absentee voting process.
  • Senate Bills 941, 942, and 943, which increase legislative oversight of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.  

With Wisconsin going into another election year, it is unfortunate that the Governor refuses to acknowledge the concerns raised by voters around the state who simply want to make sure they aren't disenfranchised by electoral shenanigans.

The Governor also vetoed a package of bills that would have used federal ARPA funds to recruit and retain law enforcement officers at a time when current numbers of sworn officers in Wisconsin are the lowest in a decade.  In addition, he vetoed several COVID-related measures, including requiring employers to accept documentation of natural immunity, forbidding distinctions between "essential" and "nonessential" businesses during emergencies, and allowing parents to opt their children out of school-imposed mask requirements.

Among the other proposals Governor Evers vetoed last week was, I am sorry to say, Assembly Bill 940, a proposal I introduced to get the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to more quickly fund talent attraction and retention programs.  Businesses and organizations across Wisconsin are continuing to have trouble hiring employees, but WEDC has been taking its time in addressing this particular part of the solution.

Legislative Map Update

Since my last E-Update, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) reversed the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision to adopt Governor Evers' proposed state legislative maps, concluding that the state court incorrectly applied past SCOTUS decisions "regarding the relationship between the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and the [Voting Rights Act]."

For that reason, the legislative maps are back in the hands of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which at the time of writing has not yet made a final decision.  The SCOTUS ruling does not necessarily mean that the Wisconsin court can't still approve the Governor's maps, but if it does, it must do a better job of explaining its reasoning.

(In a much shorter order, SCOTUS denied a request to block the Governor's congressional maps, so those remain in effect.)

E-Update Goes on Hiatus

Wisconsin law imposes restrictions on legislative newsletters and other communications during election season (April 15-November 8 this year), so this will be my last E-Update until this fall.  However, my Capitol office will remain open throughout the year, so please do not hesitate to contact me with comments or questions about issues that are important to you.

My Capitol office will be closed on Good Friday, April 15, for the Easter holiday.

Legislative Website

If you are interested in learning more about bills that I have authored, co-sponsored, or voted on, please click here.  This link will take you directly to my Wisconsin State Legislative page.  Also, if you are interested in viewing my office website, click here.