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Assembly GOP fails to override fab-lab veto

February 20, 2020 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Assembly Republicans failed Thursday to override another of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ budget vetoes.

Evers vetoed language in the state budget that would have required the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to allocate at least $1 million over the biennium for grants for fabrication labs in schools. Such labs are equipped with 3-D printers, plasma cutters and other high-tech tools. Evers said that if WEDC wants to make such grants it should be allowed to do so on its own.

A veto override requires a two-thirds vote in both legislative houses. That translates to 66 votes in the Assembly and 22 in the Senate. Assembly Republicans hold a 63-36 advantage, leaving them three votes short before they even began.

Democrats questioned why Republicans were even attempting an override, pointing out that WEDC has allocated $750,000 for fabrication lab grants this fiscal year on its own. Republican Speaker Robin Vos said fabrication labs can prepare students who aren’t college-bound for the workplace and overriding the veto would guarantee another $1 million for public schools.


In the end, the override failed 63-36.

Assembly Republicans failed in November to override three other Evers budget vetoes. The governor blocked money for both a mental health center in northern Wisconsin and doctors who care for people in state health programs and killed a new grant program to boost the number of health care providers.

Those votes marked the first veto override attempts since 2010. The last successful override took place in 1985.