After being approved by the state Senate and Assembly this week, the budget repair bill is now in the hands of Governor Jim Doyle, and he's expected to act quickly on it … and he'll likely veto a thing or two.
“Well this will be the first test of whether the Frankenstein veto amendment did any good,” says government watchdog Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign .
As the governor finalizes the plan that fixes a $527-million budget shortfall, despite the new constitutional amendment, McCabe says Doyle retains extensive veto power.
“I've said all along that the constitutional amendment didn't kill Frankenstein, it just wounded him a little.”
The partial veto authority has drawn strong criticism, after Doyle used the power in the 2005-'07 budget to chop words and sentences and creatively string them together forming an entirely new law, allowing him to raid the state transportation fund. McCabe says this is the first test of the governor's veto power after the constitutional amendment was adopted.
“He can still do an awful lot to carve up his plan and stitch it back together using pieces of the budget and in so doing, really creating a new law that neither house of the legislature ever approved.”
Doyle says he'll consider cutting some transportation funds that were only recently added by lawmakers to the repair bill.