Democrat rips AG on polluters, legal challenges

Democrat rips AG on polluters, legal challenges

A Democrat on the Legislature’s budget committee is taking Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel to task, accusing him of being soft on polluters and wasting taxpayer dollars challenging federal laws.

Schimel appeared Wednesday before the Joint Finance Committee to answer questions about the Department of Justice’s budget. Rep. Katrina Shankland criticized him for working with polluters rather than levying stiff forfeitures and issuing a legal opinion that state regulators lack the authority to consider high-capacity wells’ cumulative impacts on state waters.

She also chastised him for challenging federal laws, including Obama’s health care changes as his rules on immigration and transgender bathroom use.

Schimel countered that he has leveraged concessions from polluters that will make the state cleaner, concessions he couldn’t have gotten if he’d just slapped them with fines and his federal challenges were all approved by either Gov. Scott Walker or the Legislature.