MADISON, Wis. (From news reports) -- Governor Tony Evers has vetoed a bill which would have helped area paper mills.
According to a release from the Governor, the bill would require the governor to allocate $65 million in federal funds under the American Rescue Plan Act to finance the purchases of the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids and the Park Falls Pulp and Paper Mill in Park Falls.
The Governor says he is vetoing it because by using federal funding, if a project was later deemed ineligible, the state would have to pay the money back to the federal government.
Governor Evers says he does not agree with using ARPA funding as he says it doesn't give the long-term help needed to revive the mills and provide stable jobs to their workers.
"I support efforts to provide reliable, long-term relief to Wiscosnin's vital paper industry and the workers at the Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls mills," Evers said. "My administration has and will continue to work with local stakeholders to support these efforts."
Area State Senator Patrick Testin released a statement in response to the veto.
"With this veto, Governor Evers turned his back on thousands of families and jobs in Central and Northern Wisconsin - but he still has the opportunity to do the right thing," said Sen. Testin. "He has the authority to allocate these ARPA funds to help the mill - something Rep. Krug and I asked him to do more than a month ago. It's past time for him to act."