MADISON, Wis. — Today, Governor Tony Evers called for a special session on education funding, asking the state legislature to do what’s best for our kids and our schools. Republicans plan on convening a last-minute session tomorrow for the purpose of overriding the governor’s veto and ending federal unemployment benefits as Wisconsin families try to recover from the pandemic.
Right-wing special interest group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has spent heavily to support Republican candidates, was the first to announce the veto plan.
Gov. Evers said, “If Republicans have time to come into session just to try and override my vetoes, then they sure as heck have time to come into session to do what’s best for our kids. So, if they’re going to be in Madison, then they have work to do.”
Gov. Evers’ proposal for the special session would invest millions in Wisconsin’s kids, schools, and students, using funds already available through his budget vetoes. His proposal includes $440 million for K-12 schools, which includes $200 million for special education aides, and an additional $110 million for higher education.
Wisconsin business owners from across the state spoke out about how child care, not unemployment benefits, is a major obstacle to hiring. Labor force participation among women has drastically declined during the pandemic and is complicating the nation’s recovery. That’s why Gov. Evers is working to expand child care and support K-12 education, because he knows what’s best for our kids is best for our state.
Rejecting federal funds for those who need it is reckless. Reports show the $300 unemployment benefit is helping America recover faster than other countries, and “state withdrawals from pandemic-era unemployment programs aren’t speeding up the job recovery.”
Congressional Republicans, including Ron Johnson and Mike Gallagher, and likely gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, have also been pushing for this disastrous policy even though it could slow down our state’s recovery.
Read more about Gov. Evers’ special session below.
As state Republicans plan to meet in extraordinary session Tuesday to try to override Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill that would end federal unemployment benefits in Wisconsin, the Democratic governor has called for a session of his own seeking $550 million in state funding for K-12 and higher education.
Both sessions may do little to move the needle on either measure, however, as Republicans in the Assembly and Senate lack enough members to secure the two-thirds vote needed in both chambers to overturn a governor’s veto. At the same time, the GOP-led Legislature has largely ignored Evers’ multiple attempts to call lawmakers into special sessions on matters ranging from gun control to pandemic-related adjustments to last year’s spring election
In a video message posted to social media on Monday, Evers responded to the veto override attempts by calling on the Legislature to meet in special session Tuesday to boost state spending on education including; $240 million on per-pupil aid directly to schools; $200 million on special education aid; $90 million to the University of Wisconsin System; and $20 million to the Wisconsin Technical College System.
Gov. Tony Evers is calling the state Legislature into a special session Tuesday to consider a plan that would increase state spending on education by $550 million over the next two years.
The governor announced the special session call Monday afternoon. He’s calling on lawmakers to use money he freed up with partial vetoes of the state budget to increase per-pupil aid for K-12 schools by $240 million, special education funding by $200 million and higher education spending by $110 million. Evers made $550 million immediately available to spend on state programs by vetoing a transfer of funds into the state’s so-called “rainy day fund” in the budget.
The governor said the session would be an opportunity to make investments in education he believes should have been included in the budget. GOP lawmakers approved an education spending plan that was roughly $750 million less than the governor originally requested for K-12 schools. For the University of Wisconsin System, the GOP-backed budget included an increase of just $8 million over two years, a fraction of the $191 million proposed by the governor.
“This budget’s bare minimum wasn’t enough for our kids,” Evers said in a video message posted Monday to Twitter.
Assembly Republicans are convening lawmakers Tuesday to try to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of legislation that would have eliminated additional unemployment benefits for Wisconsinites who lost work during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, Evers is calling on lawmakers to use their time in the state Capitol to take up a plan that would provide hundreds of millions to schools.
Neither plan has much of a chance of being successful.
Republicans have repeatedly rejected Evers’ calls for special legislative sessions to address issues or take up bills he has called for and there aren’t enough Republicans in the Assembly to pull off an override of Evers’ veto.
While neither move is likely to be successful, the attempts will give Democrats and Republicans fodder for the 2022 campaigns which include Evers’ re-election race.
Republican Rep. Clint Moses said at the Conservative Political Education Conference in Hudson earlier this month that the Republican legislative campaign committees planned to pay to fly Republican legislators back to Madison for a veto override, suggesting the notice could be short.
“We are going to plan a veto override, not sure when that’s going to be and if I told you, they’d probably kill me,” he said.
Moses said the committees would “fly in people from wherever they may be on vacation.”
“I wasn’t going to go anywhere. I’ll be hanging out at the Dunn County Fair and then down at the State Fair showing cattle with my family. But now I kind of want to go to Hawaii or something so that our caucus gets to pay me and fly me back for a day,” Moses joked. “It’s that important.”
Associated Press: Evers calls special session while GOP eyes veto override
Gov. Tony Evers on Monday called the Republican-controlled Legislature into a special session to increase funding for public schools and higher education on the same day the Assembly planned to vote on a veto override of a bill ending a $300 weekly unemployment payment.
The override attempt on Tuesday was almost certain to fail because there aren’t enough Republicans to vote for them without Democrats crossing sides. Likewise, Evers’ special session call is also likely to be ignored, which Republicans have done repeatedly when he’s made similar calls to pass his priorities.
Evers, in a video message announcing the special session, said as long as Republicans were coming back in session to vote on the override, they should “do the right thing and invest in our kids and our schools.”
After signing a state budget that didn’t meet his spending goals, Governor Tony Evers announced Monday that he will call a special legislative session with the goal of driving up education funding.
In a tweet and accompanying video from the governor, Evers said the “bare minimum” provided by the largely GOP-written budget is insufficient for Wisconsin’s schools and kids.
“This budget’s bare minimum wasn’t enough for our kids,” Evers said in the video. “Not after the year they’ve had and all the work we’ll do together to make sure they’re successful for this year.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says he is calling a special session, asking for more spending in education.
The governor is calling for the Legislature to spend $240 million in per-pupil aid, $200 million in special education aid and $110 million into higher education and the UW system.
The move comes after the Legislature approved the state budget, which Evers signed earlier in the month.