Over the next several weeks, Gov. Scott Walker could have an unprecedented opportunity to use his partial veto authority — one of the most powerful in the nation.
In addition to the two-year, $76 billion budget bill, the Senate and Assembly will vote on legislation to provide up to $2.85 billion in cash payments to a Taiwanese technology company in exchange for a massive flat screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin.
So far, there’s been no public sign that Walker will use his veto to make any sweeping changes to the budget or Foxconn Technology Group bills — the GOP governor has been working with lawmakers of his party on both measures and has appeared largely satisfied with them.
But in a bill as large as the budget, at least some partial vetoes are inevitable and they wouldn’t be surprising in the sizable Foxconn legislation, either. Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) said that so far no agreements have been made between Walker and GOP lawmakers on vetoes.
A provision in the proposed state budget is raising the ire of educators and leaders of Wisconsin’s schools of education who say it would lower the quality of new teachers in the classroom, most likely in schools with the neediest children.
At issue is a measure that would require the state Department of Public Instruction to issue teaching licenses to graduates of an alternative certification program.
The budget doesn’t explicitly name a particular provider; state law prohibits that. But members of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education said it’s almost certainly aimed at the Atlanta-based American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, a controversial nonprofit that operates in 12 states and has been trying to get a foothold in Wisconsin for years.
American Board offers a low-cost, fast-track online program for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree; it takes usually a year or less for under $3,000, according to its website.
As Wisconsin lawmakers consider a bill aimed at attracting mining jobs, state residents are standing up against an open pit mine proposed for a site in Michigan 150 feet from the river that forms the state line.
The elected boards and councils of six counties, four municipalities and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin oppose the Aquila Resources Back Forty project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Opponents say it could drain acid into the Menominee River, a fishing destination that empties into Lake Michigan’s Green Bay.
The tribe is contesting a mining permit issued by Michigan. The mine would disturb culturally significant sites, tribal leaders said. They have petitioned two federal agencies to step in.