Line-item Veto in The United States - Governors - Wisconsin


According to some scholars, Wisconsin has used four types of extraordinary partial vetoes. The first, the "digit veto", was first used by Governor Patrick Lucey in 1973. In appropriation for $25 million, he vetoed the digit 2, resulting in an appropriation of $5 million. Just two years later, Lucey introduced the "editing veto". In this instance, the word "not" was removed in the phrase "not less than 50 percent", thus resulting in the opposite effect than desired by the legislature. In 1983, an even more extreme version, the "pick-a-letter" or "Vanna White veto" was introduced. Governor Anthony Earl edited a 121-word, five-sentence paragraph down to a one-sentence, 22-word paragraph to change an appeals process from the courts to the Public Service Commission. The final version, the "reduction veto", was introduced in 1993 by Governor Tommy Thompson. This resulted in a legislatively-appropriated amount being reduced arbitrarily by the governor. This unprecedented usage has resulted in eight lawsuits and numerous amendment proposals. In the first lawsuit, State ex. rel. Wisconsin Telephone Co. v. Henry, the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted absolute partial veto power to the Governor as long as a workable, complete law remained, stating the governor had "the right to pass independently on every separable piece of legislation in an appropriation bill." The only judicil limitation was Risser v. Klauser, which prohibited the "reduction veto", stating that "the constitution prohibits a writein veto of monetary figures which are not appropriation amounts." Earlier, in 1990, an amendment was passed outlawing the "Vanna White veto". Yet, in 2011, Governor Scott Walker controversially crossed out 116 words in a pension-related section of the budget bill.

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