Gov. Scott Walker says he agrees with a Democrat's proposal to curtail state financial assistance from going to companies that outsource jobs.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Walker's public-private economic development agency, has been in the news for helping some companies that later shipped jobs out of state.
WEDC board member Peter Barca, who is also state Assembly minority leader, said companies that get assistance from WEDC should have to immediately report if they outsource or reduce employment levels. He said that could lead to the end of state help for a firm.
“Obviously, (there are) policies in place that people can only have credits if they’re using (them) to create the jobs that are designated,” said Barca. “Based on the policies that we have, I would expect that they would be cut off in virtually every instance.”
Walker, who chairs the WEDC board, said Barca's proposal probably should have been put in place a long time ago.
“I’m all for it,” said Walker. “It’s too bad he didn’t do it years ago when the Department of Commerce was doing that as well. But from our standpoint it’s fine.”
Walker’s main challenger for governor, Democrat Mary Burke, used to head the state Department of Commerce.
The WEDC board briefly discussed Barca’s proposal on Monday, then directed staff to work on specific language that will be sent to the board's financial awards committee for review. The plan could go to the full WEDC board before the November election.