The Latest: GOP defends Walker's job creation agency
Oct. 24, 2017
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing on a Legislative Audit Bureau report on Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency's performance (all times local):
Republicans on the Legislature's audit committee are defending Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency in the face of a report that shows the troubled agency continues to struggle.
State auditors issued a report in May that found over the first six months of 2016 the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation failed to accurately track jobs its awards are supposed to create and retain and handed out $126 million without a formal review. The report also found that delinquent loans from WEDC to business ballooned from $1.3 million at the end of 2014 to $11 million at the end of 2016.
The Legislature's audit committee held a public hearing on the report Tuesday. Sen. Alberta Darling, a River Hills Republican who sits on the audit committee, pointed out that the audit found WEDC's administration of loans and grants has improved and lawmakers should focus on the positives.
Committee Democrats said improved administration means only that money is going out the door faster without any verification it's creating or retaining jobs.
The Legislature's audit committee is set to hold a hearing on a report that found problems at Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency continue to persist.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has faced scrutiny since Walker formed it in 2011, failing to recover loans to troubled companies, handing out $126 million without formal review and experiencing high turnover.
The Legislative Audit Bureau released a report in May that found the agency continues to struggle, failing to accurately track jobs its awards are supposed to create and retain, handing out nearly $10 million in bad loans over the last two years and failing to turn over millions in tax credit repayments to the state.
The audit committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the report Tuesday afternoon.