Minnesota, Wisconsin to save $10 million apiece in joint ventures pooling resources, expertise

twogovs.jpgWisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle visited the Capitol today (March 31) to appear with Gov. Tim Pawlenty to mark the early results from a collaborative effort between the two states to find cost savings by pooling resources and expertise.

The initiative so far, the governors' report, has saved the two states about $10 million apiece. Pawlenty and Doyle envision the states possibly saving much more in the future. (Photo by T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter)

by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter

Minnesota state inmates could be drinking glasses of milk from cows milked by Wisconsin inmates under an ongoing cooperative efforts between the two states.

Governors Tim Pawlenty and Jim Doyle held joint press conferences today (Tuesday, March 31) in St. Paul and Eau Claire to mark the inter-state costs savings initiative the governors report will save the states at least $10 million apiece and possibly much more long term.

govdoyle.jpgA phone call from Pawlenty to Wisconsin governor Doyle sparked the initiative that has the two state sharing resources ? Minnesota's purchase of dairy products from the Wisconsin prison system's diary farms could save the state $250,000.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle holds aloft a copy of a report of the teaming. (Photo by T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol Reporter)

Doyle believes the biggest savings might be seen in the technology.

"I think we're seeing some very good results,? said Doyle of the collaboration speaking at the St. Paul press conference. "Some big, some small,? he said of savings.

Working on 89 projects

All told, the two states are working on some 89 joint projects.

The two governors signed executive orders in January directing their cabinets to work together, collaborate, combine efforts when possible.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy said the teaming has cost relatively little.

He is unaware of the hiring of any consultants, he said.

Some cross-border collaborative efforts include invasive pest control, a high-speed rail initiative Doyle champions, promoting tourism.

Pawlenty spoke of the two state's universities combining efforts on research projects, and Doyle indicated that reciprocity efforts could extend to hunting and fishing licenses.

"It's a good start,? Pawlenty said of the teaming of the two states.

Pawlenty styled the combined efforts between the two states as an offshoot of the shared traditions, cultures, physical similarities the two states share.

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