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Judge finds law giving governor power to veto admin rules of agencies unconstitutional

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A judge in Madison says Governor Scott Walker is not more powerful than the elected school superintendent in setting rules for public education.

Dane County Judge Amy Smith ruled Tuesday that a 2011 law which gives the governor the power to veto the administrative rules of state agencies is unconstitutional.

But the ruling only applies to the Department of Public Instruction – because the voters elect the head of that agency, whereas the governor appoints leaders for the other state departments.

The governor’s office promised an appeal. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said he was confident that the governor would eventually win.

The Justice Department said it would review the case before deciding whether to represent Walker in an appeal.

State Superintendent Tony Evers praised the ruling, saying he knew all along that the governor’s power over his agency is unconstitutional. State and local teachers’ unions filed a lawsuit challenging Walker’s powers over public schools.

The governor said he needed the authority to veto the rules that agencies adopt in carrying out new laws, because many bureaucrats had overstepped their boundaries and hurt businesses in the process. 

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