Lawmakers are being called on to take politics out of the Department of Natural Resources.
The Secretary of the DNR is currently nominated by the Governor, which has been the case since 1995. State Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) wants that decision given back to the Natural Resources Board. Black says “decisions about our outdoors should be based on what's best for our natural resources, not what's best for politicians.”
Black is sponsoring one of two bills that would bring back the old selection process for the DNR head, by having the seven members of the Natural Resources Board make the decision. Black's version would have the change take effect in January of 2011, while the other version would make the change right away.
The legislation received a Capitol hearing on Wednesday. Scott Manley with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce was among those who spoke against the change. Manley says putting an unelected board in charge of the decision would make the office less accountable to the public.
The Assembly Natural Resources Committee is considering the legislation.