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