Evers vetoes GOP bills directing federal COVID-19 spending

Gov. Tony Evers wearing a mask

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a package of Republican-authored bills that would have directed how the state would spend $3.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money.

Evers on Thursday also announced that up to $420 million in that money coming to the state would go toward a grant program targeting small businesses.

One of the bills he vetoed would have directed $200 million toward small businesses, an amount Evers said “won’t cut it for me.”

Evers also previously vetoed a Republican bill that would have given the Legislature, rather than Evers, control over the spending of the federal money.

Republicans in the state legislature responded to Evers’ vetoes Thursday afternoon, with Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) saying: “It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing the governor vetoed these bills because he still hasn’t put forth a plan of his own on how to help Wisconsin with these relief funds. I’m glad he announced help for small businesses, but where is the rest of the money? Making vague promises in a press release is not a plan and Wisconsin deserves transparency in this decision making process.”