MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Jim Doyle tells 27 News the state's $5.4 billion shortfall is both an opportunity and a challenge for lawmakers.
"It's a huge challenge we have. We'll have to make painful cuts; cuts we don't want to make. But at some point we also have to draw the line on cutting too much from education and the university system. It'll show what we consider to be our values and what we will protect."
Regarding the controversy over the pay raises for state lawmakers, Doyle says it's up to each member to make the decision and live with it come re-election time.
"This is going to be a very difficult time. Each legislator must make his or her own decision on whether to accept the pay raise. I can tell you that when I first became governor, I turned down a scheduled pay raise because the state was facing a budget shortfall. So, each lawmaker will have to decide and then face voters. But I didn't take the money, that was the choice I made."
We also asked the governor how he'll create jobs in the bad economy. He says a lot depends on federal stimulus money that will be spent on improving roads, bridges and much more.
"This may be our opportunity to upgrade rail in our state; both freight and passenger railways. Also, to improve our technical infrastructure, such as providing broadband internet access statewide so people can work out of their homes and be part of the modern economy."