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Gov. Doyle: Governor Doyle Signs Environmental Regulatory Reform Legislation

Jessica Erickson, 608-261-2156

Implements the Most Aggressive Regulatory Reform in the Midwest While Protecting Environment

DE PERE - At a bill signing ceremony at International Paper in De Pere, Governor Jim Doyle signed Assembly Bill 655 today, which implements the most aggressive regulatory reform in the Midwest without maintaining Wisconsin's high environmental standards. The bill signing comes on the heels of Governor Doyle's State of the State Address, where he outlined his vision for the future of the state: investing in education, expanding health care, and creating jobs.

"My Administration has made important progress in reducing permit times and reforming the way state agencies do business, and this legislation builds on that success," Governor Doyle said. "Today, I am pleased to make good on my promise to implement the most aggressive regulatory reform in the Midwest."

Over the past year, the Doyle Administration has cut the amount of time needed for siting and permitting. Water permits - which used to take 110 days - are now approved in a month, and sometimes even faster. When the Governor took office, DNR had a backlog of more than 500 air permit applications. Some had languished for years. The Doyle Administration has already cut that backlog in half, and will eliminate it this year.

"This legislation will streamline regulations, making agencies respond faster and more efficiently while protecting health and environmental standards," Governor Doyle said. "And, it sends a powerful signal that we're turning Wisconsin around to make us more competitive and attract new jobs."

AB 655 will make permit approvals more efficient, timely, fair, and understandable. It recognizes that high standards with clear, precise rules are key to effective environmental enforcement.

"This bill will make state agencies more responsive, and enable businesses and entrepreneurs to do what they do best - create jobs," Governor Doyle said.

Governor Doyle thanked the legislators who were involved over the last several months in this effort, including: Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer, Assembly Speaker John Gard, Senator Cathy Stepp, and Representatives Jean Hundertmark, DuWayne Johnsrud, Glenn Grothman, and John Steinbrink.


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