The Innovators: Governor Doyle

View The Videos

Doyle on Public Service
Win Media|Quicktime

Doyle on a
New World Education
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Doyle on Stem Cell
Research (Part 1)
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Doyle on Stem Cell
Research (Part 2)
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Doyle on Joining
the Peace Corps
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Doyle on
Balancing the Budget
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Doyle on
Early Education
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Elected: 2002 as Governor
Next Election: 2006
Hometown: Madison, WI
Birth Date: November 23, 1945
Prior Experience: Wisconsin Attorney General 1990-2002; Dane County D.A. 1977-1982.
Family: Married with two grown sons.
Heartland Highlight: He and his wife Jessica both served in the Peace Corps as teachers in Africa.

Gov. Doyle’s Website

Jim Doyle

Governor of Wisconsin

In 2002, after serving three terms as Wisconsin’s Attorney General, Jim Doyle was elected as the state’s first Democratic Governor in sixteen years. At the time Wisconsin was in dire need of a new chief executive. When Doyle was sworn in on January 6, 2003 he inherited the largest deficit in Wisconsin’s history.

Six months later Governor Doyle achieved what many had thought was unthinkable. He signed a balanced budget into law that did not increase taxes. Doyle was even able to increase funding for Wisconsin’s public schools and preserve prescription drug coverage for seniors.

In addition to restoring fiscal responsibility to state government, throughout his first term, Governor Doyle has worked to improve the quality of life for Wisconsin’s children. He not only rescued the four-year old kindergarten program from cuts but he expanded access to the it through his innovative KidsFirst initiative.

Governor Doyle has also been a national leader in promoting stem cell and biotechnical research and recently proposed the construction of an unprecedented $375 million research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Governor Doyle believes that it is his ultimate responsibility as a public official to improve the lives of others, whether it is through improving schools or fighting for stem cell research. This philosophy drove him to join the Peace Corps after college with his wife Jessica. After working as a teacher in Tunisia, he and his wife moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona. Doyle worked as an attorney in a federal legal services office while his wife taught in an elementary school.

Doyle moved back to Madison in 1975 and served three terms as Dane County District Attorney from 1977-1982. He then managed his own law practice for eight years before becoming Wisconsin’s Attorney General in 1990. After serving a total of three terms as Attorney General, Doyle ran for Governor in 2002. As Wisconsin’s 44th Governor, Jim Doyle has worked hard to improve the lives of all Wisconsinites by investing in education, cutting health care costs, and implementing policies to ensure the continued growth of Wisconsin’s economy.

Best Practices

KidsFirst Initiative: Improving the Quality of Life for Wisconsin’s Children

Governor Jim Doyle’s KidsFirst initiative is a comprehensive agenda aimed at improving the quality of life for Wisconsin children. The program addresses children’s education, security and health needs. One unique aspect of the initiative is the Quality Counts program which rates the quality of child care providers and will provide the basis for salary determinations under the Wisconsin Shares Program which provides child care subsidies for low income families.

Click here to learn more about Governor Doyle’s comprehensive agenga to improve the quility of life for all of Wisconsin’s children.

Wisconsin as a leader in Stem Cell Research

Governor Doyle has made it a priority throughout his first term to ensure that Wisconsin remains the leader in biotechnical and stem cell research. A few months ago, Governor Doyle proposed the construction of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, an unprecedented public-private biomedical research center on the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus. Wisconsin already has some of the best scientists and engineers in the world when it comes to biotechnology. This new facility will help these experts conduct cutting edge research with the hopes that someday they will find the cures to many of the debilitating diseases of our time.

Click here to read more about Governor Doyle’s investment in biotechnology and stem cell research.

The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery’s Objectives (pdf).

Read a news article about the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Wisconsin Grows Initiative

Governor Jim Doyle has emphasized the need to enhance economic growth in order to maintain a balanced state budget. To achieve this goal, Doyle has adopted Wisconsin Grows, a four-pronged approach: creating a good business climate, investing in people, investing in Wisconsin businesses and reforming government to decrease regulations and increase responsiveness.

Read about Governor Doyle’s Washington Grows initiative.

Making Government More Cost Effective

Governor Jim Doyle’s ACE (Accountability, Consolidation, and Efficiency) Initiative combines the purchasing power of all state agencies and the state university system to reduce procurement costs. The initiative also consolidates human resources staff. The cost savings realized by the program is applied towards priority issues including education, health care and controlling property taxes.

Click here to learn more about Governor Doyle’s procurement program.