The debate continues over who should pick DNR secretary.
A rising star in the state legislature says a proposal to strip the governor of the authority to name the DNR secretary would take the politics out of the day-to-day operation of that agency. Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), chair of the Senate Ag Committee, says the DNR influences a lot of Wisconsin's heritage.
"I'm a cosponsor to the bill and I do support having the DNR board appoint the DNR secretary."
However, Department of Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen likes the position as it is — at the pleasure of the governor.
"My perspective is, in working with (current DNR Secretary) Matt Frank and the governor on an every day basis, is that they're doing very good things for Wisconsin and the system is working."
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is asking its members to oppose the power-switch, but the Farmers Union wants the Natural Resources Board to pick the state's top environmental and recreational leader. Vinehout agrees.
"That's correct. I do support the Farmers Union position. A lot of the conservation groups, a lot of the hunting groups have contacted me. I've been working with my constituents, especially the hunting groups. I come from a part of the state where our county is very strong hunting territory."
Environmental and conservation organizations in the state support the bill (AB 138), and it has strong bipartisan support in the Legislature, but it's uncertain as to whether there are enough votes to make it veto-proof.