WisBusiness: Doyle DOA secretary defends biz climate

By Andy Szal


MADISON — DOA Secretary Michael Morgan said the state’s business community should have confidence in the state’s business climate despite a series of recent measures that have strained the relationship between Gov. Jim Doyle and business interests.

“Up until the national economy began to deteriorate, the state of Wisconsin was doing very, very well,” Morgan said Doyle’s record on business issues.

Many in the business community opposed the inclusion of combined reporting in the state budget repair bill earlier this year, and some have similarly lined up against legal liability reforms, the oil profits tax and other measures in Doyle’s budget bill now before the Legislature. Republicans have also gotten in on the action, holding a series of roundtable discussions as part of the legislative GOP’s “Wisconsin Jobs Now” task force.

Morgan told a WisPolitics.com Luncheon at the Madison Club on Tuesday the governor remains committed to engaging with the business community to maintain and build the economy, even during the recession.

He argued that a number of proposals from Doyle’s first term, including Grow Wisconsin, tax law revisions and regulatory reform, helped generate some 144,000 new jobs.

Morgan added Doyle remains committed to cutting government spending rather than any more tax increases to counter the $1.6 billion increase in the budget hole.

He said no discussions have taken place even about closing sales tax loopholes, saying, “One person’s loophole is another person’s good public policy.”

“We’re simply going to be a smaller government on the back side of this thing,” Morgan said.

And moving forward, Morgan said continued investments in K-12 and higher education would pay off for the economic climate.

“To the extent that we have a well-educated, well-trained workforce here in the state of Wisconsin, we’re going to do well in the economic development area,” Morgan said.

The 2009 WisPolitics Luncheon Series is sponsored by The Wisconsin Bankers Association, The Ho Chunk Nation, WHD Government Affairs, Flaherty & Associates, Wal-Mart and Xcel Energy.

See more in the WisPolitics.com Budget Blog