Walker Asks Doyle to Stop New Hiring, Projects

Governor-elect Seeks to Slow Spending During Interim Transition Period

MacIver News Service | November 11, 2010

[Madison, Wisc…] The incoming Wisconsin governor has asked his predecessor to put the breaks on several projects in wake of an election that will bring a new party to power in Madison.

Republican Governor-elect Scott Walker Thursday had a letter hand-delivered to Doyle Administration Secretary Dan Schooff in which he detailed several requests aimed at reducing spending between now and the Inaugural on January 3rd.

“As I prepare to govern, I respectfully ask the Doyle Administration to consider the following requests,” Walker wrote.

The Doyle Administration is under no obligation to grant any of these requests, but Walker believes doing so could save the state taxpayers money. One specific example cited by Walker: By installing a natural gas boiler rather than the planned bio-fuel boiler at the Charter Street Power Plant in Madison, the state could save up to $100 million.

The letter details several other items Walker would like to be put on hold until he is sworn in two months from now. Among them:

  • Implementation of the federal health care law
  • State employee contract negotiations
  • Permanent civil service hires
  • The promulgation of new or updated administrative rules

Of particular note is the request regarding civil service employment. Most of state government is currently subject to a hiring freeze, Walker would like to see that continue without any exemptions made for politically-connected individuals in need of a soft-landing as the result of the transfer of power at the Capitol.

“I see no reason to finalize any permanent civil service personnel during the final two months of an administration,” Walker writes. “In the past, it has been common practice for political appointees to use this time to “bump down” into permanent civil service positions. I believe these appointees should be required to go through the same application process as any other civil servants and my Administration will review any new permanent hires during the next two months so they can be considered to termination during the probationary period.”

Walker expressed optimism that his requests would be favorably met.

“I am confident we can find common ground on my five requests and work towards an orderly transition,” Walker’s letter concluded.