NEW INFORMATION: WEDC funding increase may be tied to performance

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Any increase in funding for Gov. Scott Walker's premier jobs-creating agency may be held by the Legislature until certain improvements are made.

Budget committee co-chair Rep. John Nygren said Wednesday that the panel was moving ahead with voting on Walker's proposed $14 million spending increases for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on Thursday.

But Nygren says the money may be held by the Joint Finance Committee until WEDC enacts certain reforms and installs accountability measures.

Democrats have called for a delay in consideration of WEDC's budget given serious issues raised in a nonpartisan audit last week that showed the agency didn't follow the law, follow its own policies or track millions of dollars it gave in grants and tax breaks.
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Republican state Rep. Jeff Stone says lawmakers are greatly frustrated with the state's economic development agency, and they want quick action.

Stone's comments came Wednesday at a board meeting for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. A recent audit of the job-creation agency found a number of serious missteps.

Stone, a board member, said WEDC is an organization "in intensive care," and lawmakers want to see dramatic improvement quickly.

State Sen. Julie Lassa, a Democrat and fellow board member, said she shared Stone's frustration. She said the agency hasn't done a good enough job of communicating issues to the board, making it difficult for the board to provide proper oversight.

Members of WEDC described steps already being taken to help solve problems, including new procedures for evaluating and tracking loans.
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Board members for the state's economic development agency say they should have been allowed to participate in a recent audit that ultimately found a number of serious missteps.

The board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. wasn't allowed to know anything about the audit until the results were released last week. Several members said Wednesday they say they can't be expected to do their jobs as board members if they're shut out from the process.

Gov. Scott Walker says maybe there needs to be a tweak to the rule governing audits.

The audit was performed by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau.

Democratic state Sen. Julie Lassa says she'd like to have LAB auditors address the board so the board can get a better understanding of the standards they're using.

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