By The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker issued 99 partial vetoes of the Wisconsin state budget on Wednesday. They include:
— SEXUAL OFFENDERS: Walker did away with a provision requiring sexually violent offenders to be placed in their home counties after their release, saying the change needed more vetting by the Legislature and the public. The change would have also allowed offenders to be placed near schools, parks or day care centers.
— PREVAILING WAGE: Walker sped up a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage requirement. Originally it was to take effect in a year, but Walker is getting rid of it immediately. The requirement, which is favored by unions, sets a minimum wage that must be paid workers on certain state construction jobs.
— LOW REVENUE SCHOOLS: Republican lawmakers inserted a provision in the budget to help low-spending schools that have long complained about being punished under the current state aid formula and caps that limit how much they can raise through property taxes. The budget would have allowed those mostly rural schools to increase spending per student from $9,100 to $9,300 this year and $9,400 next year using a mixture of higher state aid and local property taxes. Walker vetoed the entire provision, saying it could substantially increase property taxes without local voter input.
— UW PERFORMANCE FUNDING: Walker removed a cap on how much University of Wisconsin campuses could receive in state performance-based funding. He also did away with allowing campuses to choose their own performance metrics, saying they wouldn’t be stringent enough.
— EARNED RELEASE: Eliminated modifications of the Department of Corrections’ earned release program that changed it from focusing on substance abuse treatment to rehabilitation centering on the inmates’ criminal behavior. Walker said the change would create a burden on the department and that it should focus on substance abuse.
— QUARRY REGULATIONS: Walker removed a budget provision that would have reduced local control over quarries, which he did to secure enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass the budget. Walker said changes that significant should be introduced as separate legislation.
— TOLLING: He eliminated $2.5 million for a study into interstate tolling, another piece of the deal used to secure Senate GOP support for the budget. Walker said whether to petition the federal government to allow tolling in the state can still be considered without the study.
— HISTORIC TAX CREDITS: Walker limited the tax break that any restoration of a historic property can receive to $500,000, resulting in a $13 million cut to the program over the next two years. The Legislature had set it at $5 million after Walker initially called for an annual limit of $10 million for the entire project. Proponents had argued that limiting the tax credit will result in fewer historic properties, especially in small towns, being saved and used as tools to spur economic development.
— ENERGY EFFICIENCY: He vetoed a provision that would have allowed K-12 schools to exceed property tax revenue limits to pay for energy efficiency projects.
— SCHOOL REFERENDUM VOTES: Walker limited when votes to exceed property tax limits can be held to regularly scheduled primary and general election days.
— JUDICIAL COUNCIL: A council that helps Wisconsin Supreme Court justice revise legal procedures would be eliminated, as Walker originally proposed. The budget committee attempted to save it but the Supreme Court quit funding it after the council’s executive committee gave its attorney a raise of more than $22,000.
— ELECTIONS COMMISSION: Walker cut five positions at the Elections Commission, which would have cost $304,000 annually, saying the commission has been working effectively with fewer staffers and can more cheaply manage busy times by hiring temporary workers or contractors. He also cut the daily stipend for members of the Elections Commission and Ethics Commission to $27. They currently receive $454 every time they meet.
— CAPITOL RENOVATION: He cut $1 million that was to be used to renovate the basement of the state Capitol.