Lassa: Gudex-Hutton Bill Removes Legislative Oversight of WEDC

MADISON -- State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement today in reaction to the circulation of a bill late Friday afternoon by Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) and Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) that would remove legislative members from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors:

“After two and a half months of silence on the mess at WEDC, Sen. Gudex and Rep. Hutton’s idea of reform at the troubled agency is to remove the only board members who are directly responsible to taxpayers.  First Governor Walker tries to wash his hands of WEDC, and now Sen. Gudex and Rep. Hutton want to walk away too.  But neither the Governor nor majority party legislators can absolve themselves of WEDC’s problems by looking the other way.

“I think the people of Wisconsin want greater oversight at WEDC, not less.  Over its brief four-year history, WEDC has been shaken by mismanagement, massive employee turnover, failure to follow the law, the loss of millions in taxpayer dollars in improperly vetted deals, and the withholding of information from its board of directors.  Why would anyone think the Legislature should have less oversight at this agency?

“Just as with their attempt to scuttle our open records law and their attacks on the Government Accountability Board, this is just one more attempt by the Republicans to draw a veil of secrecy over state government.  I don’t think taxpayers will go for it.”