State Budget Becomes Law, with Minor Vetoes from Governor
Governor Walker signed the 2013-15 budget into law yesterday, using his veto power to make mostly small changes to the budget. His 57 vetoes included deleting the following provisions from the next two-year budget:
- A measure that would allow a limited number of schools participating in the school voucher program to accept students who would not have counted against enrollment limits for the statewide school voucher expansion. Governor Walker said he vetoed this provision because “permitting private schools in some districts to accept pupils outside of the cap is beyond the scope of the expansion and may have unintended consequences.”
Still included in the budget is a statewide expansion of school vouchers. The expansion limits the number of students who can participate in the program outside of the Milwaukee and Racine districts, which already had the voucher program. Advocates for public education have pointed out that limits on participation in Wisconsin’s school voucher program have been short-lived in the past, as the Legislature has gradually lifted the restrictions and expanded the program.
- A measure that would extend the tuition freeze at the University of Wisconsin to fees paid by students, but exempt differential tuition, which is tuition assessed above the overall tuition rate to support institutional or program initiatives.
Governor Walker said he is allowing students fees to increase because he supports “vesting responsibility for the disposition of fees that support student activities with the students at each University of Wisconsin institution or college campus.” He is extending the tuition freeze to differential tuition because he “supports the goal of keeping higher education affordable.”
- A requirement that if the state sells property, the proceeds from the sale should first be used to redeem debt supported by the same funding source as the property being sold. In his veto message, Governor Walker said he opposes limiting the discretion state agencies would have in deciding which public debt to retire. His veto means that the state could sell property purchased with dollars from the General Fund, and use the proceeds to retire debt backed by the Transportation Fund.
- A $250 million reduction in general obligation issuance. Although he vetoed this measure, Governor Walker said he agrees in principal with the reduction in bonding, and has directed the state Department of Administration to make such a reduction. However, his veto means that the reduction will not be written into statute.
You can read the Governor’s veto message and more about his vetoes here.