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Lawmakers hold off on approving WEDC fundraising foundation

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Lawmakers plan to wait a while before approving a fundraising foundation for the state's job creation agency.  

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has asked the Joint Finance Committee to create a charitable foundation, and for approval to spend some the agency's current surplus of $34 million.

The panel meets Wednesday, and Republican co-chair Alberta Darling says it will act on the surplus but not the foundation request. Darling said, "We have to do it right."  

The proposed foundation would seek donations from private companies to expand economic efforts statewide. It would have policies to prevent conflicts of interest, and be subject to public scrutiny under the Open Records Law.  

However, other details have yet to be worked out -- including whether the foundation would have its own employees instead of WEDC personnel. The agency has built up surpluses from the business taxes it receives -- as well as its cash reserves.  

Democrats on the finance panel say the agency needs to use its full available resources, so Wisconsin can stop lagging behind the national average in job growth.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)