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Gov. Walker signs bill changing look of MATC board


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill to add more business members to the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board.

It’s the bill that kept the state Assembly in session for 33 hours on its final day last month.

Democrats opposed the change, saying it might have put the school’s two public TV stations in jeopardy. Federal licensing rules prohibit a wholesale change of board members – and Republicans addressed that concern by allowing 6 of the 9 current members to finish their terms.

The change was proposed to put class offerings at the Milwaukee tech school more in line with the needs of the area’s large manufacturing industry. 5 of the 9 board members will come from Milwaukee’s business and non-profit medical communities. And they’ll be appointed by county officials instead of a panel of public school leaders.

Democrats called it a power grab. Assembly Democrat Cory Mason of Racine said if Walker really thought it would create jobs, the governor would have held a public ceremony to sign the measure.

Walker signed it in private Thursday. In a statement, spokesman Cullen Werwie said more must be done to promote collaboration between employers and educators – and the Milwaukee tech bill is, “a positive step in that direction.”