Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Evers would return 'public' interest to WEDC public spending

You may remember that Wisconsin Republican legislators lame duck-walked themselves into more control of the always-troubled WEDC, so it will be interesting to see if they have enough common sense and sense of common purpose to approve these budget-based best practices Gov. Evers wants to add to WEDC's mission:
Tony Evers' WEDC budget proposal aims to reduce outsourcing, encourage renewable energy projects
A recent arrival to Wisconsin from Minnesota or Mars would likely say, 'What? You're not already requiring these things?

The answer is no - - and Minnesota, you know better - - which explains disclosures by One Wisconsin Now like this:
media report on WKOW-TV in Madison detailed how two companies that received WEDC awards of state tax credits worth up to nearly $20 million subsequently laid off 279 Wisconsin workers and expanded their operations in Mexico and other overseas locations including China, Romania, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany and the United Kingdom. In response to the report a WEDC spokesperson declared, “we will continue to work with that company” and reward the business with state tax dollars, even if they have plans to send jobs overseas.
So now let's see if Republicans who set in motion a WEDC that indeed gave away state job-creating money to businesses who were moving jobs out of Wisconsin during an administration that stalled wind and solar investments is inclined to put "public" back in public financing. 
Wisconsin wind farm, east of Waupun
Evers wants to have the WEDC put a priority on renewable energy investing. That it hasn't been a WEDC priority tells you a lot about how Walker mishandled the agency he created and chaired until 2015.

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