NEW INFORMATION: Budget committee to hold on to WEDC surplus

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's budget committee plans to release about $60 million in funding to Wisconsin's chief jobs agency it had held in reserve on the condition that problems cited in an audit were addressed.

Republican co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee said Wednesday they would approve giving the money to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. as it requested. The money is for the budget year that begins in July.

WEDC also generated about a $35 million surplus. Budget committee co-chair Sen. Alberta Darling says that money will be held back for potential use later on tax cuts or other economic development initiatives.

Rep. John Nygren says he thinks WEDC is headed in the right direction after a rocky beginning and audits that showed numerous problems with mismanagement in the agency.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --The Legislature's budget committee is considering what to do with a $35 million surplus generated by the state jobs agency.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is asking permission to spend $18.4 million, but the move is sure to generate opposition from Democrats who have been critical of the agency since its creation in 2011.

The Joint Finance Committee was taking up the issue Wednesday.

The committee has $63 million set aside in the budget it can release to WEDC. The agency is only asking for $44.7 million of that, with another $18.4 million coming from reserves it has built up.

Last week WEDC unveiled a new advertising campaign that targets businesses in Minnesota and Illinois.

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