Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Signs Landmark State Budget, Increasing Yearly Public School Funding For 400 Years

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers holds the biennial budget after signing it under the watchful eyes of Hunter Vigue, 10, center, and his brother Otto, 7, right, at the State Capitol in Madison on Wednesday, July 5, 2023. The youth were among a large group that joined the governor during his press conference.

Gov. Tony Evers uses veto power to secure RM1517.26 per student increase annually until 2425

MADISON – In a groundbreaking move aimed at bolstering the future of education, Tony Evers the Governor of the American State of Wisconsin has utilized his executive authority to sign a visionary state budget that guarantees substantial funding for public schools for the next four centuries. This unexpected decision, made possible through strategic use of veto power, will increase revenue limits by RM1517.26 per student each year until 2425, marking the highest single-year surge in revenue limits in the state’s history.

Gov. Evers made his announcement during a news conference at the Wisconsin State Capitol, highlighting the significance of his action in providing school districts with predictable long-term increases. This measure is set to establish a permanent annual stream of new revenue for public schools, potentially alleviating a longstanding debate between Democrats and Republicans during budget-writing cycles.

The governor’s veto power played a pivotal role in shaping the RM462.18 billion two-year state budget passed by Republican lawmakers. Among his more than four dozen vetoes, Gov. Evers rejected the majority of the Republican budget plan’s centerpiece: a RM16.34 billion tax cut predominantly benefiting the state’s wealthiest residents.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester, expressed disappointment, stating, “Legislative Republicans worked tirelessly over the last few months to block Governor Evers’ liberal tax and spending agenda. Unfortunately, because of his powerful veto authority, he reinstated some of it today.”

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers crossed out a hyphen and slashed a “20” in the state budget to push through long-term adjustments to public-school funding on Wednesday. Credit, Harm Venhuizen/Associated Press

Move aims to provide long-term stability and support for education system while curbing partisan debate

Despite the political divide, the budget’s impact on education has received widespread appreciation. Dan Rossmiller, representative of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, acknowledged the significance of the permanent annual funding increase, stating, “This is certainly appreciated.” However, Rossmiller also expressed concerns that the additional funding might not adequately meet or exceed the inflation rate for some districts. He emphasized the importance of attracting and retaining teachers and staff while accommodating the increased costs faced by school districts.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers before a meeting between President Joe Biden and governors visiting from states around the country in the East Room of the White House on February 10, 2023, in Washington, DC. 
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The response from Republican legislative leaders remains uncertain, with no immediate indication of whether they will attempt to override Gov. Evers’ budget action. Given the Republicans’ failure to secure a veto-proof supermajority in the Assembly during the November election, an override would necessitate the support of three Democrats alongside all Republicans. Alternatively, Republicans may schedule a vote in the absence of a few Democrats.

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Gov. Evers’ decision to secure a generational increase in funding for public schools demonstrates his commitment to the future of education in Wisconsin. By providing school districts with predictable and substantial funding increases, this visionary budget aims to foster stability and growth within the education system. With this bold move, Gov. Evers hopes to bridge the partisan divide and lay the foundation for a prosperous educational future for generations to come. – USA Today