- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed mergers of four state agencies into two would take effect next year.

Walker’s spokeswoman Laurel Patrick gave the timetable Wednesday, a day after Walker proposed that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation be merged with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Walker is also calling for merging the Department of Financial Institutions with the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Patrick said Walker met employees of the economic and housing agencies and told them the goal of mergers was efficiency, not job elimination. She said Walker also wants the new entity’s board to be made up of his private-sector appointees instead of elected officials.

Patrick says the mergers will be simpler than in 2011 when the semi-private WEDC was created to replace the Department of Commerce.

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