Republican Sen. Rob Cowles said, “I'm running out of patience and excuses.”
The one biggest thing the governor put in place supporting his “open for business” slogan, was the public/private business magnet, WEDC, which he heads up. It’s turned out to be an unaccountable slush fund for picking winners and losers. And once again, WEDC is embarrassing the state, and scaring business away.
jsonline: The review by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau found that last year the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. didn't require financial statements from companies receiving incentives; gave awards to ineligible businesses and ineligible projects; and awarded nearly $1 million in tax credits to companies for actions taken before they had signed their contracts with the state. The agency lacked strong policies and oversight on awarding taxpayer money and then did a poor job following up to see if jobs were truly being created and other goals met, the audit found. In addition, WEDC did not always engage in competitive bidding on contracts and in two cases hired firms with conflicts of interest.
Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Allouez), co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Audit Committee, said there was no excuse for not following state laws or being accountable to taxpayers. A hearing on the report is scheduled on May 9.