August 30th, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: Senator Cowles – (608) 266-0484

WEDC Continues to Disappoint

MADISON – Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau published Report 23-11, a biennial evaluation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation:  

“Ever since its inception, I’ve been keeping a close eye on WEDC, given the opportunity for mismanagement and fraud that their broad mandate presents. While it was a bit rocky in their early years, I had recently felt that WEDC may be moving in the right direction. I’m disappointed to say I don’t feel that way anymore.

For a third report in a row, WEDC continues to pervert the Foxconn deal by establishing written procedures to award tax credits for employees not working in the Enterprise Zone, hundreds of which don’t even live in the state. WEDC is also not posting board meeting minutes online, is awarding financial assistance to ineligible applicants, is not verifying information from grant recipients, and is awarding $2.6 million in tax credits when the recipient didn’t meet their contractual obligations. More failures follow in a long list of shortcomings.

This Administration needs to take a long, hard look at the management of WEDC and ensure that swift changes are implemented. Ensuring statutory compliance, fiscal prudence, and transparency are the values at the forefront of WEDC’s mission, and its leadership is not displaying them to the hardworking business owners and consumers of Wisconsin.”