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Doyle eyes pet programs now that Dems control Legislature

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Now that Democrats run the entire state Legislature, Gov. Jim Doyle says he hopes to get things he couldn't get in the last session - like mandatory insurance coverage for autism and a rating system for child care providers.

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Voters stripped Republicans of their power in the Assembly on Tuesday, giving Democrats the majority in both houses and the governor's office for the first time in 22 years.

Doyle promised to keep holding the line on sales and income taxes. But he expects a new tax on hospitals to finally pass, since it would bring in more federal Medicaid funds.

Doyle also said it will be easier to adopt a statewide public indoor smoking ban.

But we could also see internal struggles within the majority - mainly because a looming deficit in the next budget assures that they won't get everything they want.

For one thing, the governor said he'll oppose the tax-funded Healthy Wisconsin universal plan, something Senate Democrats got behind last year.

Doyle said the next budget couldn't handle it, and President-elect Barack Obama promises action on the national level.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, Weston, said he'd try to stop Wisconsin firms from sheltering income in out-of-state subsidiaries to avoid taxes here, something Doyle has not pushed in the past.

Republicans also say the deficits could delay steps to fight climate change.

Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Juneau, says Democrats will "eat their own in the first six months."

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