Gov. Tony Evers Signs State Budget Bill; Vetoes Talent Attraction Initiative

Governor Tony Evers today signed the 2023-25 state budget bill into law, but not before using his powerful veto pen to make 51 vetoes to the two-year spending plan passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The Governor, who left most of the nearly $100 billion budget bill intact and applauded many of the key investments included in the legislation, said this budget “remains imperfect and incomplete”, but signed it because it did include priorities and ideas that he has spent years advocating for.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s vetoes included the elimination of a key talent attraction initiative, which was a top state budget priority for WEDA. More specifically, Evers vetoed the budget provision that would have required WEDC to expend at least $4 million during the biennium for talent attraction and retention initiatives, with at least $2 million of this funding aimed at efforts to attract and retain veterans to Wisconsin’s workforce.

In his veto message, Evers said he vetoed the provision because he “objects to the Legislature restricting WEDC in program areas where it already makes such investments and has full authority to collaborate with state agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Despite this setback, WEDA is still working on stand alone legislation (AB 287 / SB 284) to significantly boost talent attraction funding in Wisconsin. 

In addition, Evers vetoed the GOP’s $3.5 billion income tax cut plan that would have collapsed the state’s four income brackets into three. His veto eliminated the Legislature’s tax cuts for the top two individual income tax brackets, but it preserved the tax cuts in the bottom two brackets, with the rate on the lowest bracket dropping from 3.54 percent to 3.50 percent and the second bracket dropping from 4.65 percent to 4.40 percent. This equates to a $175 million tax cut.

CLICK HERE to read the Governor’s full veto message.