A proposal to keep state tax dollars from going to companies that outsource jobs picks up bipartisan support.
The plan, offered by Democratic state Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) at Monday’s board meeting of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, would require businesses that receive state aid to sign a document indicating the assistance was necessary to keep the business open. It would also require those businesses to notify the state if they plan to outsource jobs or reduce their Wisconsin workforce. Companies that outsource jobs would then lose that economic assistance from WEDC.
The proposal comes in response to reports that multiple companies in the state received state tax credits through WEDC, and then sent jobs out of the country. Barca says the proposal would “help WEDC ensure that taxpayer assistance is never being used to support outsourcing.”
Governor Walker came out in support of the plan on Monday, saying “I don’t think any of us want taxpayers’ money going in any way to a company or organization that’s going to send jobs outside of the state.”
Walker asked WEDC staff to put the proposal on the board’s agenda for its September meeting.
There’s been a heavy focus on the issue of outsourcing in the campaign for governor, with Walker attacking likely Democratic opponent Mary Burke over jobs Trek Bicycle, her family-owned company, moved to China. Burke and Trek have argued she had no role in that decision, noting that Trek still employs a thousand people in the state.