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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 12:28 PM 

Senate confirms appointments, some Dems object to Huebsch move to PSC

The Senate approved all of the appointments before it today, though Mike Huebsch's move to the PSC drew opposition from a handful of Dems.

Most of the other appointments, including Ray Allen to head DFI, were unanimous, but the Huebsch vote was 28-5.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed Huebsch, who had been serving as his DOA secretary, to the three-member board that oversees utilities.

Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, knocked Huebsch over comments he made about climate change during a committee hearing that "the elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding."

Huebsch later acknowledged his statement was incorrect, and Hansen said the former secretary apologized for the comments in their meeting. 

"I'm concerned he is not the right fit for this position," Hansen said. "The role of a commissioner at the PSC is critical at a time when Governor Walker is doing everything he can to shut down the renewable industry in favor of coal."

Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, used Huebsch's appointment to slam the PSC, which he called a joke, and a move by the Joint Finance Committee to eliminate a state subsidy for a group that advocates on behalf of ratepayers. He complained the agency has been biased on behalf of business.

"They're doing a great job of representing people who have power, businesses that go ahead and get better rates than consumers," Carpenter said.

New Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, voted against the appointment of Kevin Shafer or Fox Point to the Great Lakes Protection Fund. He did not explain his reasoning before the vote.




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