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Walker hints he'll sign indian mascot bill

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Governor Scott Walker has indicated that he will sign the bill that makes it easier for public schools to keep their Indian team names and mascots.

The Republican Walker has until tomorrow to either sign or veto the measure -- or it would automatically take effect without his signature. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker did not definitely say he would sign the bill. He did question whether the state should force schools to drop their Indian names, calling it a matter of free speech. Walker said schools should come up with names-and-logos that tribes do not find offensive -- but they should do it on their own, without a mandate from Madison.

Walker said he would act on the bill, and not let it pass automatically.

In 2009, Democrats approved a complaint system in which the state Department of Public Instruction held hearings, and then ordered schools to drop Indian monickers if the agency found them offensive. The Mukwonago School District has refused such an order, and Republican lawmakers passed a bill earlier this fall which virtually guts the 2009 law. State public school Superintendent Tony Evers said the law allowed people to speak out about perceived discrimination by their local schools. Evers called it a civil rights issue and said quote, "Civil rights issues have seldom been resolved locally."