Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed Senate Bill 616 for green building measures. Despite having good intentions, the legislation would have resulted in chaos in the building program.

A particularly unworkable portion of the legislation mandates:

“The building commission shall apply all moneys available for its use under the authorized state building program to achieve certification as of January 1, 2015, by the U.S. Green Building Council for not less than 15 percent of the total gross square footage of conditioned space in buildings, structures, and facilities that are owned or leased by agencies on that date, as determined by the department of administration under s. 16.856(3), as conforming at a minimum to LEED performance requirements for the operation and maintenance of existing buildings. . .”

Gov. Doyle issued the following statement after acting on the bill:

“The requirements of the bill will result in all current maintenance projects being delayed indefinitely. In the future, the commitment of all these funds for this single purpose will also sharply curtail the state’s ability to build new buildings or maintain its existing facilities.

“I support the goals of this legislation which would move Wisconsin forward by building more energy efficient and sustainable public buildings. I issued an Executive Order in 2006, directing higher energy conservation and sustainable building standards for state-owned buildings. I proposed and advocated for the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which included renewable energy standards, as well as enhanced energy efficiency and conservation efforts. 

“Green building practices can substantially cut costs of operating and maintaining buildings over their useful lives. A small investment in green building design yields long-term financial and environmental benefits such as conservation of water, energy, materials and land.

“As written the bill would have resulted in chaos in the building program, so I am vetoing the bill in total. I remain committed to the concepts in Senate Bill 616 and am directing DOA to incorporate these goals into the next capital budget.  ”