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Friday, April 23, 2010

 4:09 PM 

Doyle downplays special session, vetoes

Gov. Jim Doyle today downplayed special session and veto talk.

The Dem guv told reporters he doesn't foresee any major policy issues with the late legislation sent to him.

"Well, there are 400 of them so the odds are probably good that there's something in there," Doyle said with a laugh.

"There are some that just given the rush of business at the end and the amendments that flew back and forth one way or another I really want to make sure that I understand before I make that decision, but (on a broad policy basis) no." Doyle indicated he'll likely sign bills to curtail race-based school mascots and logos as well as legislation to legalize certain raw milk sales.

Doyle said he's disappointed at the demise of the "Clean Energy Jobs Act" this session and added it's unlikely there would be a special session on CEJA or any other issue.

"My general view on special sessions ... I have to really believe that there's a chance it's going to pass to do that," he said. "Obviously I would love to see the 'Clean Energy Jobs Act' pass. And if there was a realistic possibility that calling them in would get that passed, then I'd be very interested in doing it. I'm not going to do it just to kind of do it."

Looking back at the last two years, Doyle gave the leggies credit for an "extraordinary session" that saw the passage of an on-time budget that closed a gaping budget hole and made deep cuts while not raising sales or payroll taxes or income taxes for most state residents.

Doyle also paused to point out "what didn't happen," namely a budget repair bill, freeing up the last few months to focus on legislation.

"If you look at what's happening in most states right now that are grappling with huge budget problems, I commend the Legislature because they passed a budget that I was able to sign with the vetoes I put on it in addition, and we made the cuts that needed to be made and we have not had to come back and repair it," Doyle said.

Doyle listed the expansion of health care access through BadgerCare Core Plan and the just-passed BadgerCare Basic Plan as major achievements that sets Wisconsin up as a "health care leader in this country."

Doyle also lauded the statewide smoking ban, saying he doesn't have a problem with the bill passed early this morning to define outdoor smoking areas, because it closes a loophole in the original legislation.

Doyle praised economic development initiatives passed by lawmakers, including the C.O.R.E. Jobs Act, the "Green to Gold" revolving loan program that he outlined in his State of the State address in February, and tax credits that helped companies like Mercury Marine, Republic Airlines and Oshkosh Truck.

And Doyle said he was "very pleased" with the passage of the bill to give the state DPI superintendent more power to intervene in struggling school districts, but expressed regret that the Milwaukee Public Schools governance legislation he championed stalled.

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