Lame-duck legislation could impact future deals like Kimberly-Clark

Wisconsin state Capitol (WLUK file image)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Going forward, if last week's lame duck bills are signed into law, the governor, by himself, wouldn't be able to strike a deal like the one made with Kimberly-Clark.

Instead, the governor would need to get permission from the legislature.

Governor Scott Walker says over the next day or so he will look at the lame-duck bills that take some power away from the governor and attorney general. He says even if those proposed changes were law, a deal like the one with Kimberly-Clark would still happen.

“When it comes to economic development, it should be a partisan issue,” said Walker. “It should not be a political issue. It should be about keeping good paying, family supporting jobs in our communities and that is exactly what this deal does.”

Under the lame-duck bills, the governor would need the Joint Finance Committee to sign off on deals made through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“If I was the governor the next four years, I'd have no problem,” said Walker. “Like I've done on many of deals, I don't do things without involving the legislature.”

In a statement, Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers said “the governor of our state shouldn't be hamstrung when it comes to economic development. That's why I continue to call on Governor Walker to veto the lame-duck legislation.”

“Going forward, it should be Tony's baby after January 7th,” said State Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay).

Brown County Democrats met Thursday night to discuss the impact of the lame duck bills. Hansen says the loss of power for the governor wouldn't stop at economic development.

“Pretty much with any kind of waiver for healthcare as well, it has been given to the Joint Finance and taken out of the hands of the governor,” said Hansen.

Walker must make a decision to sign or veto the bills by next Thursday.

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