Evers calls special session while GOP eyes veto override

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 1:07 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WBAY) - Gov. Tony Evers is calling the Republican-controlled Legislature into a special session to increase funding for public schools and higher education on the same day the Assembly plans to vote on a veto override.

The Democrat called lawmakers to meet Tuesday at 9:01 a.m.

Evers says the 2021-23 budget he signed failed to make “meaningful investments in our kids and our schools.”

The governor’s office says, “In light of the budget’s shortcomings, Gov. Evers announced more than $100 million in new funds for public schools outside of the biennial budget in recognition of the fact that districts had spent funds from their base budgets on pandemic-related expenses. At that time, the governor called on legislators to do more than the bare minimum for our kids and schools and reaffirmed his intent to engage the Legislature in the weeks and months ahead to use these available resources to address the unfinished business left by the budget, including meaningfully investing in our kids and schools.”

The governor, a former superintendent of Wisconsin schools, wants lawmakers to take up a proposal that would invest more than $500 million in schools.

The breakdown is $440 million for K-12 schools and $110 million for higher education. CLICK HERE to view the governor’s proposal.

The legislature planned to meet Tuesday as Republicans work to overturn the governor’s budget vetoes.

The override of a bill ending a $300 weekly unemployment payment was almost certain to fail because there aren’t enough Republicans to vote for them without Democrats crossing sides

“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,” Evers says.

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.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) issued an advisory Monday afternoon saying he and Assembly Republicans will be available for questions before the Assembly extraordinary session.

According to Vos’ office, that availability is scheduled for 9:15 a.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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