Former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder will begin his new job at the state Public Service Commission on Oct. 7, the administration of Gov. Scott Walker confirmed Monday.
Suder will nearly double his legislative pay to $94,000 when he starts his new position as administrator of the Division of Water, Compliance and Consumer Affairs. The previous administrator, John Schulze, earned $97,500 per year.
Suder, of Abbottsford, announced his resignation from the Legislature in August after PSC chairman Phil Montgomery appointed him to the new job at the agency that regulates public utility rates and construction.
As a lawmaker, Suder’s base salary was $49,943, not counting $88 a day to compensate for the cost of food and lodging each day he spent in Madison on legislative business.
Suder backed a measure inserted into the two-year state budget that virtually ensured that a politically connected group, United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation, received a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to train and recruit people to hunt, fish and trap.
Among the group’s founders is Suder’s former chief of staff, Luke Hilgemann, who also is a top official of the politically powerful Americans for Prosperity, which the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign estimates spent $3.7 million on behalf of Walker in the 2012 recall.
Suder, who has declined to discuss the grant, did not respond to a message left on his cellphone Monday.
The budget provision required DNR to award the two-year grant to an organization by Sept. 3 that closely matched the description of United Sportsmen, a group whose parent organization had supported Walker during the recall.
Days after DNR awarded the grant, the governor rescinded it after revelations that the president of the group had misled the DNR’s grant committee about its tax-exempt status and had been cited in 2005 for illegal bear hunting.
In signing the 2013-15 budget, Walker vetoed language in the grant provision calling for federal funds to pay for the much of the grant after DNR officials notified him the state stood to lose $28 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if it was signed as written by the Legislature. Walker’s veto specified that state funds would be used.