Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Plans to push agency mergers through in 2015-17 budget are dropped

The Governor's budget included language that would form two mergers of four existing agencies.

1.) WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) and WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority)

2.) Department of Financial Institutions and Department of Safety & Professional Services

The plan was to make it even easier for businesses to expand.  Based on past history, it is more likely a way to bypass multiple agencies and speed up development with very little oversight.

The decision to eliminate the language from the budget bill, and the plan to implement the mergers through a stand alone bill, was dropped after an audit of WEDC had shown that the agency hasn't monitored job creation and retention promises from the business that received tax dollars. 

After taking office in 2011, Walker established WEDC as a partnership between public and private sectors to replace the state's Commerce Department.  He is chairman of the board of directors to an agency that has been in trouble since it's inception.

Read more on this in the following May 9th La Crosse Tribune online article.