Governor Tony Evers will leave the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in place. Evers, who was highly critical of WEDC during his campaign for governor, met with Senate and Assembly Republicans on Tuesday. “The caucuses impressed upon us how important WEDC is, and the fact that while it had a shaky start, it is now being successful, and it’s highly audited,” Evers said.
Evers’ comments mark a change from his campaign threat to eliminate WEDC, a successor to the old state commerce department which got off to a rocky start.
“He made the commitment that he would not touch WEDC in this budget,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “I think that’s a huge victory. I’m hoping, and I’ve been hearing that some Democratic legislators have been reaching out to him as well, saying there have been some good successes in their own backyard.”
Evers’ campaign for governor also saw the Democrat critical of the deal WEDC and Walker administration reached with Foxconn, to get the Taiwanese firm to build a huge plant in Racine County. “That said, Foxconn is in existence in the state. We have to make sure that they succeed in a way that is open and transparent,” Evers said.
“I think all of us want transparency,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, noting that “there’s provably not been an organization that has been audited or poked into more in the past eight years than WEDC. Of course we want transparency as much as Governor Evers does.”