The Governor of Wisconsin has long had the strongest veto pens in the nation. When it comes to bills dealing with finances, he or she has the ability to sign the overall bill into law while deleting words and phrases that could ultimately be contrary to what the legislature intended. In this most recent budget, Walker signed the bill while vetoing in full or part 99 different provisions. 

First, some history. Voters gave Wisconsin's governor partial veto powers in 1930 and the Wisconsin Supreme Court since then has repeatedly upheld the ability of governors to use those powers to rewrite budgets in creative ways. Since the 1990s, voters have curbed those powers with constitutional amendments. One amendment ended the "Vanna White veto" that allowed governors to strike out the letters of words to create new words. Another amendment did away with the "Frankenstein veto" that allowed governors to cut up parts of two or more sentences to create new sentences. 

Back in 2008 when voters were about to vote on the constitutional amendment to ban the "Frankenstein veto," WISN came up with the following satirical example of just what that power could do.

Start with Governor Doyle's press release on the retirement of Brett Favre:

Governor Jim Doyle released the following statement today regarding the retirement of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre:

"Like all Packer fans, I was disappointed to hear Brett Favre will not be suiting up in the green and gold next season. It has been a privilege for all of us in Wisconsin to have been able to watch one of the all-time great quarterbacks, one of the greatest all-time athletes, year after year, take the field and lead the Pack. For 16 years, Brett Favre brought fun and excitement to Lambeau Field. His talent, energy and enthusiasm for the game will be missed. 

"I want to thank Brett Favre on behalf of Packer fans everywhere for his commitment to the Packers, Green Bay, and all of Wisconsin."

The Frankenstein veto allowed that statement to be transformed into this one:

"Governor Jim Doyle will be suiting up in the green and gold next season as quarterback of the Packers." 

Governor Jim Doyle released the following statement today regarding the retirement of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre:

“Like all Packer fans, I was disappointed to hear Brett Favre will not be suiting up in the green and gold next season. It has been a privilege for all of us in Wisconsin to have been able to watch one of the all-time great quarterbacks, one of the greatest all-time athletes, year after year, take the field and lead the Pack. For 16 years, Brett Favre brought fun and excitement to Lambeau Field. His talent, energy and enthusiasm for the game will be missed.

"I want to thank Brett Favre on behalf of Packer fans everywhere for his commitment to the Packers, Green Bay, and all of Wisconsin."

While the powers have been reined in, Walker still showed he has the ability to completely change intent. 

Lawmakers included in the budget this phrase: "The Legislative Audit Bureau shall not conduct a financial audit of the (UW) system for the 2017-'18 and 2018-'19 fiscal years." Walker deleted the word "not."

In another case, Walker gave himself more power to move money around within the Department of Transportation's accounts. 

The Legislature meant to grant Walker something narrower, writing in the budget that "the Department of Transportation may submit a request to make transfers of state and federal moneys between the surface transportation program and state highway program to the Joint Committee on Finance."

Walker cut out some of those words to write a new sentence that says, "The Department of Transportation may make transfers between the highway program." That means he can reallocate money from one road project to another—without having to get sign-off from lawmakers.