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Lawmakers will try to stop Doyle from ending wasteful spending law

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Some Wisconsin legislators say they'll try to stop the governor from ending a state law that avoids wasteful spending on government contracts.

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Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed budget would eliminate a three-year old law that requires a cost-benefit analysis before outsourcing any work costing more than $25,000.

The idea is to see if state employees can do the same quality of work for less.

Doyle says the analyses create another level of bureaucracy and legislative hearings can probably accomplish the same thing.

But some of Doyle's own Democrats take issue with that.

Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, says the cost-benefit reviews save money when they're done properly. And she'll try to get her colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to maintain the system when it considers the budget this spring.

The law was created after some waste-ridden contracts came to light.

One contract to consolidate computer servers failed to save millions as promised and a 2004 contract to keep an inventory of highway signs cost $165,000.

Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, accuses Doyle of taking away accountability.

Rep. Mark Gottlieb, R-Port Washington, says it makes him wonder who's minding the store.

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