Dane County: Governor Doyle announced his first partial veto Monday, saying he can protect education and the environment without further delaying the budget.
"The first improvement I'll make on the budget they sent me is to use my veto pen to protect Wisconsin's environment," says Doyle.
That means Doyle won't be sending the entire budget back to the Legislature. "With my partial veto power I can make significant improvements to that budget, certainly more than could be made by prolonging this process."
That pleases Rep. David Ward (R-Fort Atkinson) who helped write the budget. "I think it's a good thing he's not going to veto the entire budget. I think he would have been foolish if he had done that."
But Republicans aren't happy with Doyle's first change.
Doyle will veto the Republican plan to use the Stewardship Fund to purchase 78,000 acres of land owned by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.
The plan would have used all $80 million contained in the fund. "The Republicans made a sneak attack, forcing the state to empty out the Stewardship fund to buy land that the state already owns," says Doyle.
"I think with the Stewardship fund he's basically raised property taxes on the citizens across the state of Wisconsin," argues Rep. Ward.
Rep. Ward says the purchase was important, because even though the land would just be transferred within the state, the proceeds would go to the common school fund and local government. "How much land do we really need across the state of Wisconsin?"
Doyle also announced he has vetoed the elimination of the smart growth planning program for local governments, and in the process restored $4 million in funding for the program.
Doyle did not reveal any of his vetoes regarding public education or whether he will veto the property tax freeze. He says that will be coming later in the week.