State Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker isn't ruling out anything, including revenue increases, when the legislature puts together a stimulus package. "Everything's on the table," Decker told reporters at the Capitol on Monday.
Governor Jim Doyle has formed an Office of Recovery and Reinvestment to guide the state on how to best allocate federal stimulus money, something Decker seemed noncommittal about. "I'll take a look at it," said Decker. "If it works, good. If it works even better, even better." Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Does that mean a bigger piece of stimulus pie for Wisconsin? "It may," said Decker. "I think Dave's concern one is that kids get education, that Pell grants are there for those that want to go to college. I think he's more concerned about overall jobs right now, than specifically earmarking things."
The bottom line on stimulus: we still don't know the details, and Decker says until Congress and President Obama sign off on package, the numbers are likely "going to keep churning." And how can the federal stimulus best help Wisconsin? "Give all the discretionary spending to the legislature," Decker joked.
Also Monday, Decker said he would co-sponsor a package of drunk driving legislation (PDF) from Senators Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) and John Lehman (D-Racine), which would, among other things, make the third OWI offense within 5 years a felony, and make all fourth OWI offenses a felony.