The Governor’s veto of legislation that would change how the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources is selected will be allowed to stand.
The bill would have given the power back to the Natural Resources Board, taking it away from the Governor. State Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison), the sponsor of the bill, argued the change is needed to prevent politics from influencing the agency. He says Wisconsin’s outdoor policies should be based on science, not special interest groups.
Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the bill in November, saying the agency is much more effective in creating sound environmental policy under a Secretary appointed by his office. Lawmakers on Tuesday failed to reach the two-thirds majority vote needed to override Doyle’s veto pen.
State Representative Don Friske (R-Merrill) was among critics who argued the bill would make the agency less accountable, because the Secretary would be chosen by unelected officials. He says the agency has probably the largest impact on the lives of Wisconsin residents, and the bill would essentially make them sovereign.
Democrats were only able to raise 58 votes, several short of what was needed for an override.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:14)