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Lawmakers Have More Power, Gov. Less in Revised Commerce Dept.

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The rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI
The rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, WI

MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - State lawmakers would have more power, and the governor would have less under a revised bill to start a public and private job creation agency.

Senate and Assembly committees made several changes Thursday, when they endorsed a bill to replace the state Commerce Department with the partially-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The agency would be run by a 12-member board. And under the new bill, the governor would have 6 appointments instead of 11. Legislative leaders would name the other 6 members. And the bill includes more guidelines on how the administration can transfer employees and funding between the old agency and the new one.

Democrats tried to require that the employees be state workers instead of private ones, but that failed.

The proposal now goes to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Monday. It’s a key part of Governor Scott Walker’s campaign promise to create a quarter-million new jobs in Wisconsin by 2015.

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