Governor Evers Saves Child Labor Safeguards From GOP

In 2023, a lumber mill in Wisconsin was fined $1.4 million by OSHA for scores of violations in relation to the death of a 16-year-old boy employed at the mill.

Despite this, Republican legislators rammed through a series of bills that would have made the state’s child labor laws even more lax by eliminated job permits for 14 and 15 years old and other safeguards. The rationale they used for these irresponsible bills included needing workers to cover a worker shortage or parental rights because existing laws would require a parent to take a whole few minutes to apply for a permit for their child online. In reality. the GOP were trying to move things back to the good old days, when young children could be exploited for pennies to the dollar that it would have cost to pay an adult to do the work. They have to think of those poor, starving CEOs, don’t ya know?

Fortunately, on Monday, Governor Tony Evers saw through their bullshit and vetoed the bills thereby keeping children safe:

As expected, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed legislation Monday that would have eliminated the requirement for work permits for 14- and 15-year-old teens who take a job.

“Asking more kids to work is not a serious plan or solution to address our statewide workforce issues,” Evers said in his veto message for SB-436.

Evers took the action at a statewide union meeting in Madison. The bill “isn’t a serious proposal to address generational statewide issues,” Evers said in his remarks at the spring conference of the Wisconsin State Council of Machinists. “This bill is wrong for our kids and wrong for our state.”


In his veto message, Evers said he opposed “eliminating a process that ensures our kids are protected from employers that may exploit youth and inexperience or subject children to hazardous or illegal working conditions.”

The truly sad and remarkable part of this story is that the Republicans still say they are pro-life when they are actually just pro-prelife. They have shown time and time again that once a baby is born, they don’t give a damn about it.

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