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Walker wants more DNR autonomy

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is developing a plan to make the Department of Natural Resources more responsive to the public and speed reviews of environmental permits sought by industry.

But the plan is drawing fire from environmentalists, like the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. Program Director Anne Sayers worries Walker wants to retool the agency to benefit business, but sacrifice environmental protection.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the proposal would use DNR experts to meet in advance with regulated parties to try to expedite the process.

The plan would also give the DNR more autonomy to hire employees and to provide merit pay.

Walker’s spokesman, Cullen Werwie, said it’s an example of Walker’s efforts to make state government run more efficiently. Officials say the plan has not been finalized.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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