Governor Doyle: Signs Green Tier Legislation, Four Other Bills

Jessica Erickson, Governor’s Office, 608-261-2156

Measure Marks the Last Major Bill the Governor Called for
in His ‘Grow Wisconsin’ Economic Development Plan

GREEN BAY – At a bill signing ceremony at Georgia Pacific
today, Governor Jim Doyle signed four bills, including legislation that
encourages enhanced compliance with environmental regulations and provides
incentives to businesses that meet higher environmental standards. The
Governor signed Senate Bill 61, which is the “good actor” law the Governor
called for in his “Grow Wisconsin” plan.

With the signing of SB 61, the vast majority of the bills
Governor Doyle called for in his “Grow Wisconsin” plan have been signed into

This includes:

* The most aggressive regulatory reform in the Midwest
* Venture capital legislation
* Financial Modernization
* Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
* Single sales factor tax reform legislation
* Legislation to expand broadband and telecommunications services in
our state
* Expanding access to technology zone tax credits

“The only unfinished item is a real, meaningful worker
training bill,” Governor Doyle said. “The Legislature sent me a sham
proposal that fell far short of what I asked for and what our workers
deserved. I sent that bill back to them and asked them to send me a bill
that actually does something for the workers of this state.”

Under Green Tier, businesses will have the flexibility to do
better than the minimum standards presented to them. For example,
regulatory flexibility at the Packaging Corporation of America plant in
Tomahawk helped the company achieve an air emission reduction about 8.5
times greater than the minimum standards would have called for.

“SB 61 encourages businesses just like Georgia Pacific to go
beyond the minimum when improving their environmental performance,” Governor
Doyle said. “In Wisconsin, we’re always striving to meet higher
environmental goals and this bill rewards companies who set their bar above
the rest.”

The bill encourages greater compliance with environmental
laws through contracts, charters, environmental management systems, and
streamlined regulation.

“I’m pleased that through bipartisan cooperation we were
able to create legislation that rewards companies with strong environmental
compliance track records,” Governor Doyle said. “SB 61 will help us combine
our economic and environmental goals to protect and enhance our environment
while setting the stage for economic growth.”

In January, the Governor signed the most aggressive
regulatory reform package in the Midwest, and the signing of SB 61 adds to
that trend.

“In Wisconsin, we’re proving that we can have a clean
environment and a healthy business climate,” Governor Doyle said. “Green
Tier is a regulatory tool that gives Wisconsin a competitive edge. It tells
businesses that are thinking about expanding here, and those already here,
that we’re serious about our economy and our environment.”

Governor Doyle thanked the legislators who worked hard to
get the bill to his desk – Senators Neal Kedzie, Rob Cowles, and Dave
Hansen, and Representative Phil Montgomery.

Governor Doyle also signed three other bills:

* Senate Bill 113 requires the Public Service Commission to prepare
reports that describe the impacts of proposed legislation and state agency
rules on electric power. The bill’s authors are Senators Rob Cowles and
Dave Hansen and Representatives Karl Van Roy and Spencer Black.
* Senate Bill 272 increases local government accountability and
protects taxpayers by limiting the ability of municipalities to charge
telecommunications costs to nonsubscribers. The bill’s authors are
Senators Ted Kanavas and Jeff Plale and Representatives Phil Montgomery and
Marlin Schneider.
* Assembly Bill 508 allows companies with existing income tax credits
received for the payment of sales tax on electricity used in the
manufacturing process to use those income tax credits for up to 20 years.
Current law only permits these income tax credits to be used for up to 15
years. The bill’s authors are Senators Bob Welch and Julie Lassa and
Representatives Steve Wieckert, Bob Ziegelbauer, and Gary Bies.

The Governor signed AB 508 with a partial veto. The
Governor’s Partial Veto Message can be viewed online at:

At the 26th Annual Wisconsin Lake Convention earlier in the
day, Governor Doyle signed Senate Bill 440, authored by Senator Neal Kedzie,
which increases accountability and openness in lake district governance and
streamlines the Citizen Lake Monitoring and Planning Grants application