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More funding for welfare-to-work program

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Almost 10-million federal dollars will be used to partially-reduce a funding shortfall in Wisconsin's W-2 welfare-to-work program.  The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 11-to-4 yesterday to devote available dollars from Washington to off-set about a-third of an expected $28-million shortfall.  

The deficit is caused by a higher-than-expected usage of the W-2 system.  All Democrats voted against the allocation.  Racine Assembly Democrat Cory Mason said the state needs to fully fund the projected W-2 enrollments through mid-2015.  The vast majority of W-2 clients are from the Milwaukee area.  

Also yesterday the finance panel released the second year of funding that was budgeted for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  The agency is getting a net of $44-million, minus an $18.5-million surplus from a business tax to the W-E-D-C.  Lawmakers wanted the ability to use the surplus for other purposes if need be.  

The second-year's funding was withheld due to the problems uncovered in a state audit which included a lack of proper tracking for business loans.  Agency C-E-O Reed Hall says the problems have been resolved, and the W-E-D-C is fully committed to "transparency and accountability."

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