Posts Tagged ‘Frankenstein veto’

Frankenstein returns

June 30, 2009

Apparently Jim Doyle, or one of his aides, may have accidentally brought him back from the dead.

LFB director Bob Lang said in the agencies initial review of the Doyle’s vetoes, a partial veto of a provision on a study of intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded struck parts of three sentences to create a new one. That use of the veto would appear to be contrary to the April 2008 state constitutional amendment, Lang said.

As passed by the Assembly and Senate, the provision required the DHS Secretary to appoint a committee to study the need for and preservation of the care facilities. The legislature’s version required the study be submitted to the JFC by Dec. 1.

Sue, sue, sue!

State dictator wields veto pen

June 29, 2009

Looking through the list of Gov. Jim Doyle’s vetoes of the state budget is revealing. Wisconsin’s legislative system resembles a constitutional monarchy much more closely a republican government. The governor, although no longer able to essentially re-write bills by crossing out letters and reworking sentences, can still drastically change bills without the legislature’s approval. It’s incredible.

In his role as state dictator, Doyle provided mixed results.

He prevented illogical passions from bogging down sentencing reform by vetoing an unfair provision of the budget that would have made future offenders ineligible for the “early release for good behavior” program that was set up to reform our backwards corrections system and save the state big money.

For all the whining from right wingers about a tax and spend governor, Doyle actually came down on the side of business on a variety of measures in the bill. For instance, he vetoed a fee for construction landfills, writing that it was unfair to require owners of landfills and that the provision may have unintended consequences for construction during a time when infrastructure projects are meant to be a key for economic development. He also vetoed a $15 sticker for out-of-state boaters, expressing concerns of a deterrent effect on tourism. I would classify this as bullshit –$15? It would only be a problem if those who fail to get stickers got huge fines.

He reduces funding for the film tax credit from $1.5 million to $500,000. Barbara Lawton is going to be pissed.

He strikes one digit from a grant to the Pleasant Prairie Incubator Technology Center to reduce funding from $700,000 to $70,000. Ouch.

Budget goes to Doyle – Veto time

June 28, 2009

Time to pull out the gubernatorial sharpie – it’s veto time. By “veto” I am of course referring to Wisconsin’s new and improved version, which allows governors to veto certain spending provisions in a bill while approving the rest of the bill. “New and improved” in the sense that the governor can no longer re-write entire bills by vetoing single words or even single letters, as they have in the past. Until voters struck down the “Vanna White Veto”, Gov. Tommy Thompson used to re-write entire bills by vetoing individual letters and making new words out of what was left over – “republican” government. Doyle didn’t have the chance to veto letters, but he certainly went ahead with words. But then the pesky voters changed the constitution again:

With the approval of the referendum, Doyle and future Wisconsin governors will no longer be able to create new sentences by crossing out words or numbers from two or more existing clauses.

But Doyle is still the man with the pen.

Even after the decision to limit the “Frankenstein veto” governors will still have the ability to remove single digits to create new figures or delete whole clauses from paragraphs to change their meaning.

It’s hard to predict what Doyle will go after in the budget. He was unsatisfied with the capital gains tax hike, but he has to recognize that it was necessary after the oil tax fell through. Hence, it will be hard for him to fiddle with the numbers on that. His proposals on agency cuts and furloughs for state employees pretty much went according to plan – there may be some minor changes, including earmarks, that he’ll try to eliminate. Doyle stayed out of the conflict over extra cuts that legislature Democrats proposed for the Department of Justice, so it would be interesting to see if he restores any of them with some last minute edits – I certainly wouldn’t count on it. He’s unpopular enough already – the last thing he wants to do is give J.B. Van Hollen another round of free media.