The Democratic co-chair of the legislature's Audit Committee says she'll introduce legislation next year that calls for more transparency in Wisconsin's new economic development agency.
When the legislature and governor created the quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC, they billed it as an agency with a singular focus on job creation. But unlike the old Department of Commerce, there's no requirement that WEDC report the number or types of jobs created by economic incentives.
It's one of several potential issues seized on by Democratic lawmakers at a meeting Wednesday of the legislature's Audit Committee. Alma Democratic Sen. Kathleen Vinehout co-chairs the committee. She says constituents expect more, "Lawmakers must be able to evaluate the return on investment of taxpayer dollars in job creation programs."
Vinehout says she'll introduce legislation next session to try to accomplish that goal. In addition, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau is scheduled to release the first ever audit of WEDC early next year.