March 21, 2008

Vos backs amendment to repeal 'Frankenstein veto'

State Rep. Robin Vos sent out a pitch today on removing the governor's so-called "Frankenstein veto." There's a statewide referendum April 1 on the issue, which would amend the state constitution to remove the governor's partial-veto power. The governor - whoever holds the office - would be allowed to reduce spending with a line-item veto under the proposed amendment.

Here's Vos' take on the proposal, which he helped write:
On April 1 voters will have the opportunity to take part in a statewide referendum on whether or not the Governor should be allowed to keep his powerful veto pen.

I am a cosponsor of this constitutional amendment and will voting "YES" to the following question:

"QUESTION 1: Partial veto. Shall section 10(1)(c) of article V of the constitution be amended to prohibit the governor, in exercising his or her partial veto authority, from creating a new sentence by combining parts of two or more sentences of the enrolled bill?"

This constitutional amendment was first considered by the Legislature in 2005 because of the irresponsibility Governor Doyle showed in the 2005-2007 budget. He used his partial veto 139 times to transfer $427 million from the segregated transportation fund to the general fund. He did this by crossing out 752 words and forming individual, unrelated words into a new sentence that spelled fiscal disaster for the state's transportation fund.

He also used his power in the most recent budget to allow local governments to raise taxes by increasing their levy limits to 3.86%.

No matter what party is in charge, this is too much power for one branch of government to wield when handling Wisconsin's finances. The only way in which this veto pen would be acceptable is if it were used to reduce spending amounts by eliminating numbers, or by writing in lower figures.

Fortunately, these things will still be allowed. And by allowing them, the Governor will still have the most powerful veto pen of any state in the nation.

Remember to go to the polls on April 1 and be sure to slay the Frankenstein Veto for good by voting YES.

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