Walker rolls out regulatory reform - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walker rolls out regulatory reform


By Capitol Bureau Chief Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov.-Elect Scott Walker says Wisconsin businesses are overly-burdened by state regulations, and he aims to fix the problem with more power for the governor's office and less for state agencies.

Under Walker's plan state agencies, like the DNR, won't be able to write new rules without the legislature passing a law first. The governor himself must approve any new policies and rules that affect businesses. And businesses that challenge rules can do so in the county they operate in, not Dane County only, as the current law is written.

"I campaigned on a pledge of creating 250,000 jobs," Walker said on Tuesday, explaining his vision. "I plan on meeting that. And one of the most effective ways of doing that is empowering our small businesses in this state to go ahead and do their business, get their job done, and not be over restricted by the government."

"Agencies have developed regulations bubbling up from the bowels of the bureaucracy if you will," James Buchen, vice president of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business organization, said.

Buchen says it's all about competitiveness. He says when it comes to rules and regulations, Wisconsin has more than most states. For example, he says DNR's air pollution standards go beyond even federal regulations.

"We're not arguing with the idea that there needs to be regulation," Buchen said. "What we're concerned about is unnecessary regulation, over regulation, regulation that you don't see in any other state but Wisconsin."

But liberal groups say the last thing Wisconsin needs is big business writing the playbook. Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, says Walkers proposals read like something from the WMC's wish list.

"People across Wisconsin know that when you let corporate America run the show working people suffer," Ross said. "That's exactly how we got into this economic catastrophe, because of the failed Republican policies. And Scott Walker is putting them on steroids here in the state of Wisconsin."

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