Walker urges Doyle to halt projects, including UW biomass plant

Monday, November 15, 2010

From an article by Jason Stein and Lee Bergquist in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Governor-elect Scott Walker asked Gov. Jim Doyle Thursday to freeze his administration's push on high-profile issues ranging from the implementation of the federal health care law to a costly upgrade of a state power plant until Walker takes office on Jan. 3.

Doyle and his aides made no commitment to do that, though a top cabinet secretary said Doyle would work with Walker in an "orderly and responsible manner."

Three past governors from both political parties and the top aides to two more past governors said Thursday that the transition duel playing out between Walker, a Republican, and Doyle, a Democrat, is unprecedented in a generation of Wisconsin politics. . . .

In a letter Thursday [November 11] to Doyle Administration Secretary Dan Schooff, Walker requested:

• Stopping unfinished negotiations with unions on the 2009-'11 labor contracts so they can be considered as part of the upcoming 2011-'13 state budget. Walker campaigned on making public workers cover more of their benefits, including pension contributions.

• Freezing the implementation of the new health legislation, including the establishment of a state health insurance exchange that would allow individuals to purchase coverage.

• Making plans to shift the source of power from biomass to natural gas at a University of Wisconsin-Madison power plant that is being upgraded.