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Decker says state could have its own stimulus package

The Wisconsin Senate's majority leader says the state should have its own economic stimulus package.

Sen. Russ Decker, D-Weston, made that comment Monday, as lawmakers opened their new two-year session.

Decker says a state stimulus package would use Wisconsin's share of federal funds aimed at putting people to work by building roads, bridges and other infra-structure.

Decker also said lawmakers could get millions more by stopping companies from sheltering their Wisconsin income in out-of-state subsidiaries where they pay little or no income taxes.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle has opposed that measure, fearing it might cause firms to cut jobs or leave the state in a time of recession.

In any event, Decker says a state stimulus package would "let Wisconsin companies hire Wisconsin workers at family-supporting jobs."

The details are still being worked out. Rep Mark Pocan, D-Madison, says the stimulus package could also reduce the state's $5.4 billion deficit in the next budget.

The governor will unveil his budget proposal on Feb. 10.

New Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville, vowed to work together with Republicans to repair the budget and create new jobs.