Joint Finance Committee votes to eliminate 80 positions within Department of Natural Resources

MADISON — The Legislature's finance committee has adopted Governor Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 80 positions within the state Department of Natural Resources, including more than half of the researchers in the agency's science bureau.

Walker's budget includes provisions that would eliminate about 19 researcher positions from the science bureau as well 11 natural resources educator spots. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, four of the scientist positions and two of the education positions are vacant. The changes would leave the science bureau with about 18 researchers and the agency with seven educator positions.

Republicans who control the finance committee proposed a wide-ranging motion dealing with the DNR's budget Friday that maintains the governor's plan. The panel approved the motion on a 12-4 vote.