UPDATE: Wis. Assembly to take up Bill on WEDC Contracts

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is set to take up a bill that would bar Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. employees from negotiating contracts they may have a financial stake in.

Rep. Jeff Stone's bill would ban WEDC board members and employees with a monetary interest in a contract from participating in drawing up the deal or exercising any discretion in regard to the contract.

The Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday.

The measure comes to the Assembly floor in the wake of an audit that revealed WEDC hasn't followed state law, adequately tracked loans and sometimes gave money to companies that didn't qualify. The Legislature's budget committee has decided to block new WEDC funding until improvements are made and require WEDC workers to follow ethics and financial disclosure laws.

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ORIGINAL STORY: 5/10 at 9:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker's beleaguered jobs-creation agency would have to meet several tough new requirements before it gets money to operate under provisions the Republican-controlled budget committee has approved.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee added the accountability provisions to the budget Thursday on a party line vote.

Under the provision, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. could not spend any money in the second year of the state budget until it showed lawmakers that improvements had been made.

The new requirements come in response to a scathing audit released last week that said WEDC did not follow state law or adequately track loans it awarded.

Democrats wanted to cut the agency's funding as well, but Republicans rejected that.


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