(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s governor exercised his veto pen on several Republican plans.
Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday vetoed seven pieces of legislation, including what would have been new laws for rioters, an expansion for school choice for younger kids, and a plan that would have changed the make up of some police and fire commissions in the state.
Evers said SB 296, which aimed to allow misdemeanor charges for anyone who attends a protest that becomes a riot and opened the door for felony charges for anyone who participated in the riot, violated free speech rights.
“This bill creates ambiguity, inconsistency, and contradictions in practical application that could be used to infringe on rights guaranteed under the First Amendment,” Evers wrote in his veto message.
Republicans wrote the proposal following the riots in Kenosha back in 2020. Lawmakers wanted to give prosecutors another way to charge people who flocked to protests and turned them violent.
Gov. Evers also vetoed SB 597, which would allow more young people to enroll in the state’s private school choice program.
“This bill would add to the pupil count that fuels the general state aid reduction,” Evers wrote in his veto message.
The governor claimed the school choice expansion could lead to higher local property taxes.
Evers also vetoed a plan, SB 117, which aimed to change the rules for appointing members to police and fire commissions in the state.
One of his other vetoes, of SB 563, kills plans to allow hunters in Wisconsin to hunt farm-raised bison, buffalo, sheep, antelope, or goats.