Today the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) called for enabling legislation to grant the board the authority to hire and fire top WEDC officials, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO).Meh.
Two members of the WEDC Board, Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) and Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), have for months been working on a WEDC reform package. They released the following statements in response to today’s actions:
“While we appreciate that the governor signed a bipartisan WEDC ethics bill into law today, it’s clear further reforms are desperately needed. Rep. Stone and I have agreed to once again team up for further reforms, this time focusing on providing the board with greater oversight authority. And I’m very pleased that our fellow board members agree we need to take this basic step to ensure more accountability at WEDC.
“As numerous reports have shown, WEDC has been plagued by serious mismanagement, wasting of taxpayer dollars and even illegal activity since its creation. Hopefully through more reforms, WEDC can focus more on new economic initiatives to enable us to improve our job rankings and once again become a national leader.
“Therefore I sincerely hope the rest of our Republican colleagues will agree with us that immediate action is needed. Passing legislation allowing for more board oversight at WEDC – along with a renewed focus on jobs and economic development – would go a long way toward putting Wisconsin’s economy back on the right track.”
“The resolution the WEDC Board adopted today is a common-sense measure that would apply to any corporation. I'm grateful the board members agreed with the reforms Rep. Barca and I proposed to provide greater oversight and accountability for our state's job creation agency.
“At the legislative level, we need to make these reforms a priority. I hope we can move quickly during the fall floor session to pass this legislation to help make WEDC more effective and accountable to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.”
If they want to do something really constructive, they would move to abolish the whole damn thing, which wasn't even designed to be successful - unless you're a millionaire CEO or a corporation - from the get go.