QUORUM CALL

Three Dems sided with Gov. Tony Evers to deny GOP lawmakers a veto on a bill that would have reduced the number of training hours required for nursing assistants.

Republicans needed at least three Dems to flip their votes to override the veto and Dem Reps. Don Vruwink, of Milton, Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, and Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, voted for the proposal when it originally passed on the Assembly floor.

But all three flipped their votes and the override failed to gain the necessary two-thirds support on a 63-36 vote along party lines.

AB 76 would’ve prohibited the Department of Health Services from requiring nursing assistants from having more clinical supervised practical training than the federal minimum. Federal law currently requires no less than 75 hours of training for nurses with at least 16 hours of supervised practical training. Current Wisconsin law requires 120 hours of training.

The bill originally passed the Assembly 66-31 and passed the Senate by voice vote.

Doyle said on the floor that he would turn down the override because the bill wasn’t a “silver bullet.”

The bill’s author Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Town of Washington, previously agreed the bill wasn’t a “silver bullet” but that “this is about getting more care for our parents, our grandparents and yes, eventually us.”

Evers vetoed the bill in November, saying he objected “to providing less training for those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The last time the Legislature overrode a guv’s full veto was 1981 with Gov. Tony Earl. The last time a full veto override passed one house but not the other was in 2003, when Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a bill that would’ve allowed the concealed carry of firearms in certain circumstances.

Both Legislative houses would need a two-thirds majority to override Evers’ veto. Lawmakers historically had one chance at a veto override per bill per session. But the Assembly changed its rules last month in order to hold veto overrides a potentially unlimited number of times per session.

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