Members of the Wisconsin Senate have given approval to a constitutional amendment that would limit the governor’s veto powers.

If approved by voters, future governors would be prohibited from using their line-item veto to increase spending. Approval came on a 19-14 party-line vote Tuesday. To change the state constitution, the amendment has to pass both chambers in consecutive legislative sessions, then earn passage as a statewide referendum. The amendment now goes to the Assembly.



Assembly hears bill on raising Wis. tobacco age to 21

A first hearing in the Wisconsin Assembly Wednesday on a bill that would raise the age to buy and use tobacco products from 18 to 21 in the state.

The measure is in response to the recent vaping epidemic and at aimed at preventing young people from smoking or using e-cigarettes. Several states are considering similar laws. The legislation has bi-partisan support in Wisconsin and would also need to pass the Senate before going to the governor's desk.



Charges filed in Barron double stabbing

Charges have been filed against an 18-year-old Cumberland man who is accused of stabbing another teenager and his father.

The incident happened Halloween at Anderson Park in Barron. Investigators say Emmanuel Torres got into a fight with the teenager and used a knife to attack him and his father. The names of the victims haven’t been released. The charges were filed Monday and Torres is being held in the Barron County Jail.



Man accused in battery acid-throwing incident now charged with hate crime

The 61-year-old Milwaukee man accused of throwing battery acid on a victim is now facing a hate crime charge.

The decision by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office was announced Wednesday. Mahud Villalaz was left with second-degree burns to his face last Friday when he was attacked. He tells police Clifton Blackwell first confronted him over the way he parked, then later accused him of being an illegal immigrant and tossed the acid on him, causing the injuries.



UW-Madison to pay $850K to man killed by boat while windsurfing

The University of Wisconsin-Madison says it has reached a settlement agreement with the family of the man killed by a boat while windsurfing two years ago.

Forty-three-year-old Yu Chen was hit by a boat operated by the UW Lifesaving Station on Lake Mendota. Chen was teaching a lesson when he was hit, suffering fatal injuries when the power boat’s propellers cut him severely. Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne determined there was no criminal liability for the UW staff members involved in the accident.



La Crosse School District not surprised by declining enrollment

Officials with the La Crosse School District say an enrollment decline of more than 200 students isn’t surprising.

Superintendent Randy Nelson estimates about 60 percent of Wisconsin school districts are seeing the same thing. The reduction in students is about twice as much as they had anticipated. This year’s incoming kindergarten class was significantly smaller than last year’s high school graduating class. Students using vouchers to transfer to private schools is a factor, but so are growing numbers of students choosing to attend virtual schools.



Republican Assembly leader pushes for override of 3 budget vetoes

The majority leader of the Wisconsin Assembly is pushing for the override of three partial budget vetoes by Gov. Tony Evers.

Jim Steineke sent a letter to Assembly members Wednesday, but his job isn’t going to be an easy one. Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz has warned no members of his party will vote for the overrides. With a 19-14 edge in the chamber, Steineke needs three Democrats to switch sides. Two of the vetoes blocked spending on a northern Wisconsin regional crisis center and additional funding for doctors who care for patients in state health-care programs.