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Governors: Together, states can save money

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, right, and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle on Tuesday announced a plan for their states to share services, pool together on large purchases and enter into other agreements meant to save money.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota and Wisconsin each could save about $10 million by sharing services and pooling resources, the states' governors said.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced this morning that their states will work together to save money, improve services and eliminate redundancies in some 80 areas.

Those include sharing technology resources, collaborating on large purchases, coordinating invasive pest-control inspections, sharing access to child support systems to increase child support payments and streamlining heavy truck permits.

The average taxpayer may not notice many of the changes, but the states also will study whether to streamline hunting and angling licenses for people who hunt and fish across state lines, the governors said.

The governors - Pawlenty a Republican, Doyle a Democrat - announced in January they wanted the states to work closer together to streamline government operations and save money.

The states have many commonalities, Pawlenty said.

"What is not common is the historic challenge that Minnesota and Wisconsin face with this terrible national economic crisis and we need to do all that we can to make sure that best value is being put forth on behalf of our citizens," Pawlenty said.

The effort will continue in the coming months and will provide savings to taxpayers, Doyle said.

"There are real opportunities here and I think what Wisconsin and Minnesota are doing is unprecedented," Doyle said.

After a St. Paul news conference, Pawlenty and Doyle were headed to Eau Claire, Wis., for a similar announcement.