MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed more than 40 Republican authored bills Friday including a package overhauling election administration, while he signed a bipartisan measure that provides funding for the construction of a new juvenile prison in Milwaukee.
The vetoes spanned a wide expanse of bills passed in this election year, measures that Republicans knew were doomed to fail but that give them — and Evers — something to campaign on. Republicans don’t have enough votes to override his vetoes.READ MORE: Wisconsin's Evers Says He Prays GOP Investigator Not Named To Panel
Among the bills Evers vetoed were measures that would have prohibited schools from requiring students and employees to wear masks and required employers to accept proof of natural immunity from COVID-19 rather than vaccination.
He also vetoed bills that would have allowed holders of concealed carry permits to have firearms in vehicles on school grounds and in churches located on the grounds of a private school, and that would have allowed anyone with a concealed carry license from any state to go armed in Wisconsin. Currently, only people with licenses from states that conduct background checks on applicants can carry concealed guns in Wisconsin.
Evers vetoed a bill that would have permitted classes on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution to count for diversity or ethnic studies requirements at the University of Wisconsin.READ MORE: Wisconsin Chairman Rescinds Killer's Parole At Gov. Evers Request
He also vetoed a package of bills that would have made it harder to vote. Republicans offered them in the wake of President Joe Biden narrowly winning Wisconsin over Donald Trump in 2020.
Evers vetoed a number of bills increasing penalties for crimes, including retail theft, as well as a measure that would have banned cities from prohibiting police to use no-knock warrants.
He also vetoed a raft of bills that would have directed how to spend millions of dollars from the federal government that was awarded as part of the coronavirus relief package. Currently, Evers has the discretion to decide how to spend the money. He said in his veto messages that he objected to the Legislature getting involved and that he has already earmarked much of the money for public safety and other initiatives.
Evers signed a bipartisan proposal that would authorize borrowing $42 million to build a new youth prison in Milwaukee County, the latest step in a yearslong effort to close the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile prison in northern Wisconsin.MORE NEWS: Parole Of Killer In Wisconsin Puts Pressure On Gov. Evers
Four years ago, the Legislature voted to close the prison but lawmakers never came through with the money for a replacement facility.