MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker proposed a compromise this afternoon on an effort to provide millions of state tax dollars as venture capital to help new businesses get off the ground. Lawmakers of both parties have disagreed on whether certified capital companies should be involved – after one of them failed to invest eight-million state tax dollars in a similar program in 1999. Today, Walker suggested keeping those capital firms out of it. He proposed a 100-million-dollar package known as a “fund of funds,” in which a manager would allocate tax money to specific venture capital funds that provide money to new Wisconsin-based firms. Walker said his plan includes details that have been discussed by a bi-partisan working group of lawmakers. And the governor said it would allow the Legislature to approve facets that have strong support on both sides of the political aisle. A new alternative plan was suggested this week by three G-O-P Assembly members, with backing from Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. It revived the use of the certified capital firms – and it raised concerns that lawmakers would not have enough time to agree on venture capital legislation before the current session ends next spring.
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