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WMC files suit seeking to overturn Evers partial veto that increases revenue limits for the next 400 years

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has filed a lawsuit, directly with the Supreme Court, that seeks to overturn Governor Evers use of the partial veto to annually raise school revenue limits by $325 per pupil until 2425. During the biennium budget negotiations, Evers used his partial veto power (which lets Wisconsin governor’s strike out certain parts of appropriation bills when signing), to change individual words and digits in a sentence that was originally intended to raise revenue limits by $325 for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. 

The action drew much controversy from critics who pointed out that a previous 1990 constitutional amendment states that “[the governor] may not create a new word by rejecting individual letters in the words of the enrolled bill”. Strangely there is an exception to this rule in Wisconsin precedent, which allows a governor to take this type of action so long as the effect reduces appropriations. The suit also questions if by extending an appropriation past a timeline designated by the legislature, the governor is increasing appropriations, which they claim is unconstitutional given past precedent. 

The WASB will be following this suit closely and update members when important actions are taken.


Action Needed: DPI proposed changes to waivers from the school start date appears to be stalled until next session

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently proposed changes (Clearinghouse Rule CR 24-026) to the school start date rule that governs the issuance of start date waivers. The proposed rule provides more flexibility for school boards when seeking to adjust their school calendars to better meet the academic and local needs of their respective districts.

An unexpected development has occurred in the rule making process: Governor Evers has not approved the final rule text. This step is required before the rule can move to the legislative review step. This is surprising considering the governor previously approved the scope statement (a preliminary document describing the intent of the forthcoming rule). Proposed administrative rules must be sent to the legislature for review by the last general business day of the session to be taken up in that session. The last general business day for the 2023-24 legislative session was April 11th. Thus, the governor’s delay means the deadline has passed for the legislature to review the rule until the 2025-26 legislative session (which convenes in January). 

While the rule will not be reviewed by the legislature until next session, it is still important that the governor approves the final rule so it can move forward in the next legislature. The WASB strongly supports this proposed rule based on our WASB Resolution supporting local control of the school start date. We urge school leaders to contact the governor’s office and request he approve CR 24-026. You can contact his office at (608) 266-1212 or submit comments online here. Read below to see more information about the proposed change to the start date. (more…)