WEDC funding increase may be tied to performance - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WEDC funding increase may be tied to performance

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Any increase in funding for Gov. Scott Walker's premier jobs-creating agency may be held by the Legislature until certain improvements are made.

Budget committee co-chair Rep. John Nygren said Wednesday that the panel is moving ahead with voting on Walker's proposed $14 million spending increases for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on Thursday.

But Nygren says the money may be held by the Joint Finance Committee until WEDC enacts certain reforms and installs accountability measures.

Democrats have called for a delay in consideration of WEDC's budget given serious issues raised in a nonpartisan audit last week.  It said the agency didn't follow the law, follow its own policies or track millions of dollars it gave in grants and tax breaks.

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has convened an emergency meeting of his flagship job-creation agency to discuss last week's scathing audit.

Gov. Walker was in Waukesha on Wednesday meeting with the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.  WEDC has been beset by problems in its two years of existence. For example, a nonpartisan audit released last week found WEDC didn't consistently follow the law during its first year.  The agency also failed to adequately track loans and it provided tax breaks to unqualified companies.

Gov. Walker opened the meeting saying counties and employers have provided largely positive feedback about the role WEDC has played in their job-creation projects.  He says it's frustrating to now have to talk about shortcomings within the agency, some of which relate to staffers who are no longer there.

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