Gov. Doyle’s veto pen may have brought back to life the so-called Frankenstein veto, though the resurrection may have been inadvertent.
LFB director Bob Lang said in the agencies initial review of the Doyle’s vetoes, a partial veto of a provision on a study of intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded struck parts of three sentences to create a new one. That use of the veto would appear to be contrary to the April 2008 state constitutional amendment, Lang said.
Lang said that the violation was likely inadvertent. (The memo on the veto can be viewed here.)
As passed by the Assembly and Senate, the provision required the DHS Secretary to appoint a committee to study the need for and preservation of the care facilities. The legislature’s version required the study be submitted to the JFC by Dec. 1.
Doyle’s partial veto narrowed the scope of the study, eliminated the committee, and deletes the Dec. 1 reporting date.
Lang advised the JFC that a legal opinion should be sought, but said a override was not the best route.
He said the apparent violation of the constitutional amendment would “render the veto inoperable” and that the budget would revert to the language in the document approved by the Legislature.
I’m not a Wisconsin state constitutional scholar, but often I play one on this blog, but wouldn’t it just be more correct to assume the entire portion of the budget he combined three sentences into one is vetoed? If you actually read the veto (below), you can see Doyle’s creating policy never before agreed upon by the legislature — the reason for the “Frankenstein Veto” in the first place — while at the same time, eliminating passed policy; which in the legal sense is a veto.
Per se, it’s safe to say the Governor’s intent was to veto that which the legislature passed in full session. It’s safe then to assume the best course of action would be for a double-nullification: One backing the initial veto, and another eliminating the new policy.
The legislature can always re-pass a law doing exactly what the bill was supposed to do before the illegal veto was written.
The actual veto is here.