WI Senate Shoots Down Vetoes’, Political Tug-of-War Continues

WI Senate Shoots Down Vetoes’, Political Tug-of-War Continues

As promised, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate shot down a slew of Governor Evers’ vetoes.

Republicans overrode nine vetoes from the governor, including vetoes that scuttled a PFAS clean-up plan and that tied-up millions of dollars for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. Every Democrat in the Senate voted against the overrides, though they continue to say they want Republican lawmakers to release the money that the governor vetoed. Yesterday’s vote was almost entirely for show, however. Republicans in the State Assembly do not have enough votes to follow suit and override the governor.

Locally, Sen. Jesse James (R-Altoona) issued a statement Tuesday following the Wisconsin State Senate’s veto override of several bills, including SB1014, relating to funding for hospital emergency department services.

The bill, intended for use in the Chippewa Valley following the regional pullout of HSHS and Prevea Healthcare systems, outlined guidelines for how the money would be distributed, and was vetoed by Governor Evers in February. Senator  James, the bill’s author, commented on the veto override:

“From the start, securing this money was supposed to be about taking care of the Chippewa Valley. Politics should never have come into this. Our governor claimed that his veto was to expand the use of the funds, but he knew that doing so would put our Joint Finance Committee in an impossible position. They cannot release the funds because a committee can’t override a veto; only the Legislature can. It has been easy for the governor to blame JFC and call on them to do something that he knows they can’t do.

“I am disappointed that this has been leveraged for political gain, because what matters most is our people: our patients in need, our emergency services, and our 1,400 healthcare employees and their families left without jobs. What matters most is the lives at stake and the future of our area. I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining me in this veto override, and I call on the Assembly to join us. Unless we join together to see these funds released to help the Chippewa Valley, this money will sit useless.”

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