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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Senate passes ‘Frankenstein’ veto bill

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The Wisconsin state Senate unanimously
passed a ban Tuesday on the "Frankenstein" veto power currently
held by the governor.

In addition to the line-item veto —
which permits the governor to cut individual items from legislation —
Wisconsin currently grants the governor a "partial veto," the
power to slash individual words, numbers and sentences from
paragraphs and then piece the remaining parts of the bill together to
essentially create new legislation.


The joint resolution awaits a vote on
the Assembly floor. If passed, it will go to public referendum in
April 2008.

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said
passing the measure was good for Wisconsin, adding the vote count
proves the governor's veto power should be reined in.

"I thought it was a great thing that
it passed unanimously," Grothman said.

Doyle's veto pen, Grothman added,
moved money the Legislature intended for highway funding to the
school fund.

By voting to send the resolution to the
public, Grothman said "even the Democrats think Doyle was a little
over the top."

Ryan Murray, communications director
for Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, echoed Grothman's sentiments,
agreeing governors have abused the "Frankenstein" veto.

"This past budget the governor used
it to raise property taxes," Murray said. "Those are things the
Legislature never discussed, debated, or intended."

Senate President Fred Risser,
D-Madison, said he is pleased with the outcome of Tuesday's vote,
adding in a statement that outlawing this power "brings us one step
closer to a veto authority that more accurately reflects the proper
balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of
our government."

But Carla Vigue, spokesperson for
Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, said the public should seriously debate
the matter if it is on the ballot in April.

"People really need to be careful
when looking at this issue especially because governors for many
years have been using vetoes to stop some of the Legislature's most
extreme actions," Vigue said.

Although the resolution was passed by
the Legislature in 2005, because it is a constitutional amendment it
must pass in two legislative sessions, and then go before voters in a

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