Sen. Shilling Has Serious Concerns After Audit Of WEDC

Oct 26, 2017

Sen. Jennifer Shilling(D-LaCrosse)

A top legislative Democrat is drawing attention to the state agency charged with creating jobs, saying the most recent audit of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation showed serious concerns.

In an interview with WXPR, State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling of LaCrosse says a recent audit found, in her view, the agency has been "riddled with challenges"....

"...tracking numbers of job created..clawing back taxpayer dollars to companies who don't meet contractual oblligations they have. Misuse and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by employees at WEDC. Concerns again about job numbers not being created and the challenges that still exist..."

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a public hearing on the results of the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau analysis of WEDC. She says the agency did not verify job related information as required by law. Shilling says it appears the required accountability by WEDC is lacking.

Shilling says also troubling is WEDC is the agency charged with keeping track of the Foxconn deal...

"..it is the state's largest taxpayer support to a foreign corporation in the nation. This is really a big deal, not only in Wisconsin, but nationally. They have a contract that WEDC and board members need to review and sign and members of that board are publically elected officials and they are being asked to vote on a contract that they won't see the details of...."

A WEDC board member, Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee told the Wisconsin State Journal that the Foxconn deal had a "nuclear bomb" in it that was said to give the $3 billion in taxpayer dollars to the company and possibly not get any of it back.

Reports say Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO Mark Hogan told the committee WEDC was making improvements.

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