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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

 2:37 PM 

Senate approves appointments, Scocos, Stepp face some opposition

The Senate unanimously confirmed all but two of Walker's appointments en masse, pulling out the confirmation of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos for separate consideration.

The appointment of Scocos was approved 29-1, with Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, voting against.

Stepp's appointment was approved 17-13.

Sens. Mark Miller, D-Monona, and Robert Wirch, D-Kenosha, spoke against the appointment.

Miller said Stepp has "a lack of intellectual curiosity" about science he said is needed to advise the governor about matters relying on science under the DNR's purview.

Among the reasons Wirch said he was voting against Stepp was because she refused to hold a public hearing and conduct an environmental impact assessment he requested on the Enbridge pipeline capacity expansion.

He said Stepp was "tilting more toward business" than protecting natural resources.

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, was the only Democrat present to vote in favor of Stepp; while Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, was the sole Republican present to vote against her appointment.

Sens. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills; and Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, were not in attendance.


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