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As I See It

WEDC still can’t keep track of loans



Good news and bad news for Wisconsin’s job creation agency. Unfortunately, once again an audit finds the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation still has a long way to go to right the ship. WEDC uses state money to help private companies create jobs. But they still aren’t doing a very good job keeping track of our tax dollars they hand out, or making sure the companies which get the money actually create jobs, or that the money gets paid back. Those should be very basic goals for WEDC, but the latest audit from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau finds those goals are still largely unmet. For example, the agency still isn’t forcing loan recipients to submit enough info to determine how many jobs were actually created. The audit also finds that WEDC cannot be certain about the number of jobs created. And the amount of potentially uncollectable loans has ballooned from just over $1 million two years ago to more than $11 million today. So the bottom line, the state agency designed to create jobs in Wisconsin still doesn’t know how many jobs have actually been created, and may have handed out millions of dollars which will never be paid back. When will our lawmakers finally realize that this agency, mired in ineptitude from the beginning, continues to waste our tax money, and that it is time to make them do what they are supposed to do, or pull the plug on WEDC altogether.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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