(Press Release) – During Thursday’s State Assembly floor session, Representative James Edming (R-Glen Flora) voted with his Assembly Republican colleagues to override Governor Tony Evers’ partial vetoes of three items relating to mental health that were included in the WISCONSIN Budget that was approved by the Legislature earlier this year. These veto override attempts failed due to a lack of support from Assembly Democrats.
“Of the many partial vetoes that Governor Evers issued when he signed the state budget into law earlier this year, some of the most disappointing were the three vetoes that the State Assembly attempted to override today,” said Rep. Edming. “I believe that Governor Evers’ veto of these three mental health provisions was a mistake, and I was proud to join with my fellow Republicans to attempt to correct this mistake.”
The first veto override that the Assembly considered was the governor’s veto of $15 million in funding to establish a northern regional mental health center in the Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls area. Currently, counties in Northwest Wisconsin must transport patients experiencing a mental health crisis to facilities many hours away in either Oshkosh or Madison. This long-distance transport creates significant costs for the counties in northwest Wisconsin and takes law enforcement officers away from their regular duties for long periods of time. With his veto, Governor Evers redirected this funding to a facility in Madison.
“I am extremely disappointed that my Democratic colleagues, including those who represent counties that would really benefit from this facility, chose to ignore the needs of northwest Wisconsin, and voted to sustain this veto,” said Rep. Edming. “The 29 counties that would be served by this crisis center would save approximately $2.8 million a year combined. These savings could be used to address other county priorities.”
In subsequent veto override attempts, Assembly Republicans voted to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for mental health, behavioral health, and psychiatric services as well as increase funding for qualified treatment training grants.
The 87th Assembly District includes portions of Clark, Marathon, Rusk, Sawyer and Taylor Counties.