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State ex rel. Kleczka v. Conta

264 N.W.2d 539, 82 Wis. 2d 679 (1978)

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State ex rel. Kleczka v. Conta

Wisconsin Supreme Court

264 N.W.2d 539, 82 Wis. 2d 679 (1978)

Facts

Gerald D. Kleczka, a member of the Wisconsin senate, and John C. Shabaz, a member of the Wisconsin assembly (collectively, the legislators) (plaintiffs), filed a lawsuit against Martin J. Schreiber (defendant), the acting governor of Wisconsin, alleging that Schreiber misused his partial-veto power. Article V, § 10 of the Wisconsin constitution provided that the governor may use a partial veto, meaning a veto of a portion of a bill rather than the entire bill, on appropriations bills. In 1977 Assembly Bill 664 (AB 664), an appropriations bill, passed in both houses of the state legislature and was presented to Schreiber. Schreiber partially vetoed two sections of AB 664. The first partial veto affected the Wisconsin Election Campaign Fund (the fund). The legislature intended for taxpayers to have the ability to increase their income-tax liability by $1 to deposit into the fund. Schreiber’s partial veto struck language from the section and instead allowed taxpayers to designate $1 from their income-tax liability to go to the fund. The partial veto would result in up to $600,000 from the state’s anticipated general revenue being redirected to the fund. The second partial veto moved the effective date of AB 664 up by one year. The legislators argued that Schreiber’s partial vetoes were unauthorized because they affected language that was not severable from AB 664 and changed the appropriations decided on by the legislature.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heffernan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Hansen, J.)

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