Governor Scott Walker said repeatedly this spring that he would hold off on making a decision about running for president until work on the the state budget wrapped up. With the Legislature passing the $73 billion spending bill earlier this week, and Walker scheduled to make an announcement Monday night, there’s speculation that the Republican governor could sign the budget before he takes to the stage in Waukesha.
If that happens, it could be one of the fastest turnarounds on a budget bill in recent memory. Todd Berry with the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says most budgets have seen governors take up to several weeks to review the bill as they consider potential vetoes. Berry says the reason for that is “they’re asking state agencies, cabinet officials, the public, to all offer them…suggestions as to how to change or improve the budget.”
Lawmakers make numerous revisions to the budget bill after the governor delivers it to them in the spring. Wisconsin law gives the governor one of the most powerful veto pens in the nation, allowing the state’s chief executive to strike out changes they don’t always support.
Berry says it’s possible that Walker and his staff took advantage of a month-long stalemate on the budget. Lawmakers had already finished up most of their work on the bill at the end of June, outside of a few final changes that included transportation funding and a partial repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law that were made in just the first two weeks of July. Still, those last minute additions can be tricky, Berry warns, and there are “bound to be small errors in the way legislation was drafted…it takes time to find those.”