Walker Wants To Exclude Lawmakers From Proposed Economic Development Board

Governor Has Outlined Plan To Merge WEDC, WHEDA Into One Body


Gov. Scott Walker wants only private-sector appointees on a new board overseeing the state’s economic development efforts, a move that would freeze out members of the Legislature.

Walker wants to merge the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Housing and Development Authority into a single agency. Right now, their boards include state lawmakers, but Walker wants to change that.

“If we want an organization that’s focused on professional economic development decisions both made by employers and based on people who have economic development experience in their background, it only seems fitting,” said Walker.

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Stevens Point Democratic Senator Julie Lassa, who sits on the WEDC Board, said excluding legislators would be short-sighted.

“I believe that we are directly responsible to taxpayers and that no one else on the Board represents that perspective,” said Lassa.

Lassa said lawmakers can be more independent on the WEDC Board because unlike the other members, they’re not appointed by the governor.