There’s a battle shaping up at the Capitol over green jobs legislation. As hearings continue at the Capitol on a Democrat proposed “green jobs” bill for Wisconsin, Republicans continue to raise concerns. “This is a piece of policy that Spencer Black, after serving fourteen years in the minority, is going to go out and see passed the way he wants to see it passed,” state Assembly Minority Leader, Representative Jeff Fitzgerald, told the Wisconsin Counties Association on Wednesday. “When you are going to put Wisconsin at a disadvantage to other surrounding states, you’re going to have a huge problem,” said Fitzgerald, noting that the Clean Energy Jobs bill mandates 25 percent renewable energy in Wisconsin by the year 2025. “That costs money,” he said.
Still, Fitzgerald thinks Democratic legislative leaders understand that the bill needs revision. One of those leaders is Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan. “When we come up with a final bill to pass, it’s going to balanced, it’s going to be fair and well thought out,” said Sheridan. Fitzgerald and other Republican lawmakers are asking the administration of Governor Jim Doyle to provide a detailed cost analysis of the proposal. Proponents refer to it as the Clean Energy Jobs bill, while the GOP has dubbed it “Governor Doyle’s global warming bill.”
Also weighing in on the bill, state Senate Republican Glenn Grothman. “Mark Miller, a Democrat from Madison, is really trying to push more expensive energy in this state, and requiring a lot more renewables, which all looks nice and feel good, but it would greatly increase the costs” to manufacturers in the state, Grothman said. But even Grothman indicated that there may be Democrats who will push to modify the bill. “There are indications that some of the Democrats are willing to stand up to the environmental extremists, just like the Republicans,” he said.