Thursday - August 17, 2017 9:01 am

WEDC to watch our tax dollars in Foxconn deal, but who is watching WEDC?

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It is potentially the biggest deal in the state of Wisconsin's history. Lawmakers are trying to formalize a $3 billion incentive package to lure Foxconn, and its promise of 10,000 jobs, to Wisconsin. There is much to consider. But the state agency in charge of that task doesn't exactly have a great track record protecting the interests of Wisconsin taxpayers. The Wisconsin Economic Development Council has for years awarded state money to companies which don't qualify, or lie on their applications. They have failed to keep track of loans, and failed to ensure the companies actually create the jobs they promised. Now, WEDC is tasked with ensuring the Asian company has the financial strength to build that $10 billion plant in Wisconsin, and run it profitably. Those are key questions. But members of the Wisconsin legislature are due to cast a vote today on Foxconn, and a number of those key questions remain unanswered. This won't be the final vote, but we deserve to have those casting a vote have all the available information about Foxconn in front of them. Given that non-partisan auditors, as recently as this spring, recommended WEDC make more improvements in how it tracks job creation by companies that receive state money, there is a question whether WEDC is actually up to the job and can do it completely. WEDC is charged with monitoring these deals, but it seems someone better be monitoring WEDC as well.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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