WEDC Merger Must Include Fix to Outsourcing Loopholes

Statewide: Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin called on Governor Walker and lawmakers to use the proposed merger of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as an opportunity to fix the loopholes that allow public economic development dollars to go to companies engaged in outsourcing jobs. 

In his State of the State Address on Tuesday Governor Scott Walker called for the merger of WEDC, his troubled economic development agency, and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Legislation is expected before the Governor releases his state budget in February.

As was documented by Citizen Action of Wisconsin in October, public commitments by Walker and WEDC officials over the summer that the outsourcing loopholes would be closed did not materialize. According to an analysis of board meeting minutes by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, it is still perfectly legal for a company to receive WEDC funds and outsource jobs at the same time. As Wisconsin Public Radio reported in October, WEDC refused to deny that companies receiving WEDC loans, grants, and tax credits can still outsource jobs.

“It is scandalous that state policy still allows public money to go to corporations engaged in outsourcing jobs,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The public deserves much greater accountability when it comes to spending precious economic development dollars. This money is intended to expand opportunity for workers in Wisconsin, not support companies engaged in outsourcing jobs.”

For more information:

Contacts:

Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 robert.kraig@citizenactionwi.org

Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280 kevin.kane@citizenactionwi.org

 

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