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13
Jan
2016

walker-wedc

Legislation introduced by Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem) and Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) aims to crack down on individuals and businesses that commit fraud when applying for economic development assistance.


MADISON - Bi-partisan legislation aimed at cracking down on individuals and businesses that commit fraud when applying for economic development assistance from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation took its first step toward passage when it received a public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy.

Samantha KerkmanAssembly Bill 669 was introduced by Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) in response to two recent high-profile cases where Wisconsin taxpayers lost $1.5 million after the applicants were alleged to have left out information that would have led to their applications for assistance being denied.

“Whether it’s $200 in the FoodShare program or $200,000 from WEDC, fraud is fraud,” said Rep. Kerkman. “Sufficient deterrents to fraud help support a strong WEDC, and a strong WEDC helps build a strong economy.”

In 2011 William Minihan, the owner of Building Committee, Inc., used a $500,000 loan from taxpayers to pay off a lease he held on a fleet of luxury cars. In 2015 it was revealed that Ron Van Den Heuvel, owner of Green Box was being investigated for lying on his application in which he received a $1.12 million taxpayer loan from WEDC. Investigators allege he used the taxpayer money to in part pay off his personal loans.

dave-hansen“This type of fraud, because of the large numbers involved, can cost taxpayers millions in a single case. Committing economic assistance fraud steals from all the people of this state, deprives honest business owners from getting the help they need to grow their businesses here and ultimately hurts workers,” said Hansen. “A strong message needs to be sent that if you commit this type of fraud you are going to pay a high price.”

AB-669 creates the crime of committing fraud in applying for economic development assistance. Those found guilty could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison and face fines up to $50,000. In addition, that individual or business they represent could be denied future assistance for seven years.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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13
Jan
2016

students-testingState drops from 2nd best to 9th worst in the nation. Drop in ACT scores is particularly concerning given Wisconsin’s ongoing economic challenges, workforce shortages and shrinking middle class.

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
 
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12
Jan
2016

walker-senate-signingAs the Republican leadership in Madison rush to move complex and controversial bills through the legislative process, legislators and the public don’t have access to changes in proposals offered until just before committee hearings. Thoughtful and meaning dialog on the impact of complex legislation is compromised when speedy passage becomes more important than open debate.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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11
Jan
2016

uwgb-studentWith student loan debt in Wisconsin at $19 billion and rising, we need a plan that allows loans to be refinanced at lower interest rates. Gov. Walker's rejection of refinancing leaves hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents at the mercy of Wall Street.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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