News Column

Gov. Walker to Seek $25 Million for Venture Capital Investment

Feb 18, 2013

Jason Stein

Gov. Scott Walker is setting aside $25 million in his two-year budget bill to boost venture capital investment in the state but isn't putting forward a plan for doing that.

The Republican governor got praise for the financial commitment from Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council and a member of the Wisconsin Growth Capital Coalition, which has been pushing for such an investment proposal.

Walker's efforts to pass a venture capital plan stalled in the Legislature in 2011 amid disagreements between GOP lawmakers in the state Assembly and the state Senate.

The governor is scheduled to talk about his venture capital plans Monday in Madison, but it's unlikely that he'll give many more details because those are being left for working out later.

"The $25 million appears to be as much as anything a placeholder and that the governor's intent is to give the Legislature as much leeway as possible to craft a plan," Still said.

Walker shared details of his plan in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal.

In one key decision, Walker is saying that he will park the money with the state Department of Administration rather than with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The quasi-public WEDC was created by Walker and lawmakers in 2011 to boost jobs in the state but has faced criticism for poor administration of taxpayer funds.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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