2009 Nov. 6: WI: WI Independent DNR head bill sent to Governor for his signature

We wanted to share the GREAT news with you right away!
Thanks to your vast efforts, the state Senate voted on AND approved AB 138, the bill to restore the Independent DNR Secretary yesterday!
Congratulations one and all.  This is a huge victory for Wisconsin’s air, water, and open spaces.
A few details of how it all went down:
The Senate added a small technical amendment that would retain the part of the current law that allows the State Senate to approve the choice of the Secretary made by the Natural Resources Board.

Voting in FAVOR of final passage of the bill were Senators:  Carpenter, Coggs, Cowles, Decker, Ellis, Erpenbach, Hansen, Holperin, Jauch, Kapanke, Kreitlow, Lassa, Lehman, Liebham, Miller, Plale, Risser, Schultz, Sullivan, Vinehout, and Wirch.

Be sure to contact your Senator to express your gratitude for their vote.  You can learn how to contact them at: http://www.conservationvoters.org/Public/index.php?pageID=6

Voting AGAINST final passage of the bill were Senators: Darling, Fitzgerald, Grothman, Harsdorf, Hopper, Kanavas, Kedzie, Lasee, Lazich, Olsen, and Taylor.

State Journal staff | Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 12:30 pm | No Comments Posted
MADISON, Wis. — The secretary of the Department of Natural Resources would no longer be appointed by the governor under a bill passed Thursday by the Legislature.
Gov. Jim Doyle opposes the measure but he must sign it before it becomes law. If he vetoes it, that would put pressure on the Democratic-controlled Legislature to override it.
Under the bill, the secretary would be appointed by the Natural Resources Board, not the governor. The Senate would then have to confirm the choice.
Supporters say the move would take politics out of conservation decisions. Critics point out the governor still appoints the board and calling for Senate confirmation injects more politics in the process.
"Restoring the appointment authority of the DNR Secretary to the Natural Resources Board has been the long-standing position of Wisconsin sportsmen and women and the majority of other citizens," said Jack Nissen, president of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. "All aspects of the Department functioned better under the Board appointed system and it is time that the Board appointed system be restored."
Said Ralph Fritsch, chair of the Federation’s Wildlife Committee:
"Now the measure advances to Governor Doyle who campaigned for office repeatedly asking for sportsmen’s support, indicating that he would restore the appointment authority of the DNR Secretary back to the Natural Resources Board. Sportsmen and women throughout Wisconsin are respectfully asking the Governor to honor his word and commitment to us."

Doyle won’t say whether he’ll veto DNR bill

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 3:45 pm

Gov. Jim Doyle isn’t saying whether he’ll veto a bill passed by the Legislature that removes the governor’s power to appoint the Department of Natural Resources secretary.
Doyle said Friday he "everybody knows how I feel about that bill. I’m not ready to announce it, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody."
Doyle has repeatedly expressed opposition to giving the Natural Resources Board the power to appoint the secretary. Doyle says doing that prevents the governor from having a strong environmental agenda.
Should he veto it, the Democratic-controlled Legislature would have to vote to override it for the measure to become law. Two-thirds of members in both the Senate and Assembly would have to vote for the override.

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