There’s disagreement in the Executive Branch over the governor’s power to appoint the DNR secretary. Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton testified before a Senate Committee Thursday in support of a bill that would allow the Natural Resources Board to select the secretary, rather than the governor. The move puts her in a position against Governor Jim Doyle, who is opposed to the change.
Lawton says changing how the secretary is selected would prevent politics from influencing important environmental decisions. She says it’s needed to allow for complete confidence that policy is being directed by scientific data, not the desires of a governor who gave the secretary the job.
Lawton says she has no problems with the current secretary, but worries about what will happen when a new governor is elected. She says the disruption caused by a new administration could damage efforts to protect the environment.
The Lt. Governor was among those who testified in favor of the bill Thursday during a Senate hearing.