MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers acknowledged that he couldn’t explain why he vetoed a bill that would have allowed raffles using a paddle wheel device.
“You caught me,” Evers said after being asked by a reporter Thursday to explain his veto earlier in the week of the bipartisan paddle wheel raffle bill.
The measure, which the Legislature passed unanimously, would have allowed anyone with a Class B gambling license to conduct a raffle using a paddle wheel. Such devices are often used at meat raffles to award winners, even though the devices are currently illegal.
Evers was asked about the veto on Thursday after signing a bill in Wausau creating additional circuit branches.
“Can you just take us through your thought process on that?” the reporter from WSAU-AM in Wausau asked.
Those in attendance can be heard laughing in an audio clip posted by the Wisconsin Radio Network.
“We’ll get you the information on that,” Evers said to more laughter. “I signed over 100 bills two days ago and vetoed a handful of other ones. You caught me.”
After his spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff intervened to say his veto message would be provided, Evers said, “Good question, though.”
Baldauff said Friday that they immediately provided the reporter with details about why Evers vetoed the bill.
“He just didn’t remember the specifics of that particular legislation, given that he took action on a hundred bills,” she said of Evers’ initial answer.
According to his veto message sent to lawmakers, Evers vetoed it because he said that expanding raffles as proposed could threaten exclusive Class III gambling rights given to the state’s Native American tribes.
“By expanding the definition of raffles, this bill could be considered a violation of the compacts, which could result in a significant loss of past, current, and future gaming revenue to the State,” Evers wrote.
The bill was one of two Evers vetoed on Tuesday. Its sponsor, Republican Sen. Andre Jacque, said the goal was to change the law to benefit church groups, civic and veterans’ organizations and others across the state that were “unknowingly and unintentionally committing a felony level offense.”