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Walker releases plan to transform Department of Commerce (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The new hybrid public-private entity that Gov. Scott Walker wants to replace the state Commerce Department would not include any state employees.

The proposal Walker released Thursday makes clear that no one working at the proposed Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. would be a state employee. They would be given the option of participating in the state retirement system.

Currently, of the 341 people working in the Commerce Department, 266 are members of a state employees union. Walker wants to move regulatory functions of the department to other state agencies.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many private employees there would be at the new hybrid agency. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said last week that they didn’t anticipate overall employment levels to differ much from where they are now.

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