2009 Nov. 13: WI: Gov vetoes Independent DNR bill, Legislature can override veto with 2/3 override vote

AB 138 passed in the WI State Senate 21-11 (Judy Robson excused) and the bill passed in WI State Assembly 61 to 32 (Roger Roth & Scott Suder excused)

To OVERRIDE Wisconsin Gov. Veto:  State Senate would have to vote to override 22 to 11 and State Assembly would have have to vote to override 62 to 31


We wanted to share the news with you right away.  This afternoon, Governor Doyle vetoed AB 138, the bill to restore the Independent DNR Secretary.

We can assure you that this fight is far from over.  Early next week, we will let you know the next step of this campaign.  In the meantime, we wanted to share with you the statement that Kerry Schumann, our Executive Director shared with the media upon learning that Governor Doyle had decided to veto this very important legislation that we all worked so hard to deliver to him for the last several years.  

“I am disappointed that I will now have to deliver the news to the thousands of conservationists who contacted Governor Doyle this week, that he did not keep his promise to sign theNatural Resources Board appointed Secretary bill into law. With this veto, he has forever undermined his legacy in Wisconsin history as a champion for natural resources.   I encourage Wisconsin legislators to stand firm in their commitment to our state and its citizens by overriding the Governor, thereby ensuring once and for all, that science and not politics will determine natural resource decisions in Wisconsin.”


It was because of your HARD work that we got this bill throught both houses of the legislature for the first time ever.  And it is that same level of commitment that will ensure we will get it done again.  We will get get back to you with the next step very soon.  Watch your email.  See WI League of Conservation Voters site for more



Doyle vetoes bill ending governor appointment of DNR secretary

By Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 13, 2009 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a bill on Friday that stripped future governors of the power to name the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

Now attention shifts to the Legislature and whether lawmakers have the necessary two-thirds majority to override Doyle’s veto something that hasn’t happened in 24 years.

The veto was expected, since Doyle signaled his intention a week ago and for months has said he believed the DNR is a better managed agency when it is under a governor’s control.

The bill would have given control to appoint the secretary of the agency to the seven-member Natural Resources Board, which lost the power in 1995.

"The major environmental measures we’ve taken in the past seven years, from working to remove mercury from our air, expanding the Stewardship program, passing the Great Lakes Compact, moving toward energy independence and reforming our regulatory process, could not have been achieved by a board-appointed secretary alone," Doyle said in a statement. "But working with a direct line to the governor, major environmental progress is possible."

The DNR regulates hunting and fishing, manages state parks and other state-owned land, and oversees environmental regulations.

Because of its vast reach, the DNR is frequently one of state government’s most controversial agencies. Backers of the bill say an independent secretary is needed to insulate the agency from political influence.

"Decisions about our outdoors should be based on science and what is best for our environment, not on what is best for politicians and special interest groups," said Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison), a chief backer of the bill.




Anne and the Team at Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

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