Assembly GOP: We won’t stop WEDC from breaking the law
Republican leaders defend WEDC, tell media it is on track
MADISON – Today Democrats pushed for Gov. Walker’s scandal-plagued jobs agency to do a simple thing – follow the law and create a committee tasked with holding the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) accountable to the taxpayers.
Assembly Republicans voted against a measure that would have required the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to follow state law. The measure was voted down 39-57, with all Assembly Republicans in attendance voting against.
Last week, the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau released a report showing WEDC authorized illegal loans and tax credits, lost track of loans and spent taxpayer money on such items as Badger football tickets, alcohol and iTunes gift cards.
After today’s vote, WEDC Board member and Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement:
“Today Assembly Republicans made it crystal clear – they won’t take even a minor baby step to hold WEDC accountable.
“That is unacceptable considering WEDC’s failings are a major reason why Wisconsin ranks 44th in the nation in job growth, 45th in wage growth and dead last in short-term job growth. Coupled with Republicans’ refusal to move economic development bills that have broad support, they are saying business as usual.
“Last week’s audit uncovered significant waste, illegal activity and abuse at WEDC. Yet when Republicans look for illegalities, they focus solely on going after programs that help struggling families.
“Now Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee are planning to vote this week to spend tens of millions more on WEDC without first trying to address or solve any of these ongoing problems. This is a slap in the face to the taxpayers of Wisconsin, who have a right to know serious, common-sense reforms and taxpayer protections are in place before WEDC’s budget moves forward.
“Today we asked that WEDC follow the laws of Wisconsin and our nation – and Republicans refused to support that concept. It’s time Republicans start holding Gov. Walker’s troubled jobs agency accountable and ensure the taxpayer money isn’t being wasted.”
Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608.266.5504
Press Releases Referencing Peter Barca
May 20th, 2015 by Peter Barca
This Republican plan further defunds public schools and destroys local control.
Apr 17th, 2015 by Peter Barca
"Cutting the University of Wisconsin is not only wildly unpopular – it is also incredibly shortsighted."
Apr 9th, 2015 by Peter Barca
"The governor’s lack of planning and inclusiveness and failure to involve people in important public policy has had devastating consequences for the citizens of our state"
Apr 1st, 2015 by Peter Barca
"Repealing prevailing wage would be another huge hit against the middle class and small businesses in Wisconsin"
Mar 19th, 2015 by Peter Barca
"Today I voted to support bringing the contract to the full legislature as State Troopers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe are deserving of a raise."
Mar 19th, 2015 by Peter Barca
Democrats continue to work on restoring economic opportunity for Wisconsin