HUDSON, Wis. (AP) -- A Minnesota-Wisconsin agency could be eliminated unless Wisconsin's governor comes to the rescue.
In a surprise move, the Wisconsin Legislature sent Gov. Scott McCallum a budget bill last week that eliminates money for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission and directs the state to get out of its dual arrangement with Minnesota.
Based in Hudson, the commission consists of five citizens from each state to study issues and offer advice on how to protect the rivers and land connecting the states. There are four full-time employees and another under contract.
In recent years it has concluded a proposed tribal casino in Hudson would hurt the federally protected St. Croix River by bringing more traffic and congestion to the area. The commission has also supported more aggressive measures to keep zebra mussels out of the St. Croix.
"If we aren't in controversy, we aren't doing our job," said Buck Malick, the commission's executive director.
McCallum has a month to decide whether to veto the provision, an office spokesman said.
Wisconsin Republican state Sen. Jim Baumgart said there has been some controversy about the agendas of people appointed to the commission, but didn't elaborate.
"There are some problems there, and rather than make them worse, I would prefer the governor find people of the highest quality who don't have agendas," he said.
The commission's $400,000 annual budget is split equally between the states.
Minnesota has set aside money for it for this year and next year, but the money would go unused if Wisconsin doesn't approve its half.
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