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Ballot measure to limit veto power in Wisconsin gets consideration

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March 3, 2010

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MADISON, Wisconsin: State Senator Fred Risser and State Representative Gary Hebl expect the Wisconsin Legislature to advance consideration of a future ballot measure that would curb the partial veto power of the Governor of Wisconsin[1].

The Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics will vote on March 4, 2010, to approve a constitutional amendment that would restrict the Wisconsin Governor to only veto entire sections of appropriations bills. If the measure is approved by the committee, then it would go to a floor vote in both houses. If approved by both houses, it would require consideration in the next legislative session beginning in 2011 before the ballot measure is qualified[1].

Wisconsin voters approved two ballot measures in 1990 and 2008 to curb the Governor's veto power. In 1990, Wisconsin voters approved the so-called "Vanna White Amendment" in which outlawed Wisconsin Governors from vetoing single letters, digits, and punctuation marks. Voters recently approved a ballot measure in 2008 in which outlaws the Wisconsin Governor from vetoing part of a sentence and using the line item veto to create new language in bills known as the "Frankenstein Amendment"[1].

Despite the two previous measures limited veto power, the line-item veto power of the Wisconsin Governor is still considered by political experts as the most powerful in the nation[1].

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