The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota join forces in order to save money.
The neighboring governors say using resources more wisely and avoiding duplication can help minimize each state's economic burden. Wisconsin Democrat Jim Doyle says agency heads need to be creative and flexible in the effort to cut government spending and deal with huge budget deficits.
"So today we are signing executive orders that direct our administrations to come together and take a comprehensive look at all the efficiencies we could achieve by working together."
Doyle reminds us the two governors already have a good record of working together, citing the effort to get cheaper prescription drugs. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty says neither his state of Minnesota nor Wisconsin is immune from the economic downturn, and it's getting worse.
"If there is something that Wisconsin is doing better that Minnesota isn't doing as well or is not doing at all, it makes sense for us to try to partner with Wisconsin and leverage their capabilities."
The two governors say the similar states could share purchases of things like road salt, heavy equipment, computer software, and prison food. Also, the states could share assets such as helicopters and warehouse space.
Doyle couldn't get specific, but says working together could save tens of millions of dollars over several years, and their idea could be a potential model for other states.
Wisconsin faces a shortfall of $5.4 billion. Minnesota's deficit is $4.8 billion.
Commissioners and Secretaries of both states will report back to both governors by February 27th.