AB 1070 Changes to Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Intellegere Project previously covered the proposed AB 1069, one of five bills on the agenda during the lame duck session. This piece covers AB 1070, specifically those changes impacting the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The WEDC is resposible for designating “Enterprise Zones” (EZ) such as the Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zone (EITMZ) designated for the Foxconn project. In addition, the WEDC is responsible for negotiating the tax incentive packages for companies in the EZ areas. [1]

AB 1070 proposes changes to the board of directors of the WEDC. The following quote describes the make up of the board under current law. [2]

(14.)
Under current law, the board of directors of the Wisconsin Economic
Development Corporation consists of 12 voting members as follows:
1. Six members are appointed by the governor subject to senate confirmation,
to serve at the pleasure of the governor.
2. Three members are appointed by the speaker of the assembly, consisting of
one majority and one minority party representative to the assembly and one person
employed in the private sector, all of whom serve at the speaker’s pleasure.
3. Three members are appointed by the senate majority leader, consisting of
one majority and one minority party senator and one person employed in the private sector, all of whom serve at the majority leader’s pleasure.
As it stands currently, 6 board members are appointed by the Governor. The remaining 6 are appointed by the assembly speaker and the senate majority leader. There are specifications as to who may be appointed by these two individuals such that these 6 board members should represent the majority and minority parties as well as the private sector.
(14. cont.)
Under this bill, the board consists of 12 voting members. However, the governor
appoints four members. The speaker of the assembly and the senate majority leader
each appoint three members, but the appointees need not be members of the
legislature nor employed in the private sector. The minority leader of each house
appoints one member to the board.
Under the proposed changes the Governor appoints 4 members (two less than currently). The assembly speaker and the senate majority leader still appoint 3 each, but there are no restrictions as to who they may appoint. The two remaining board members are appointed by the minority leaders of the house and senate.
(14. cont.)
The bill further provides that the chief executive officer of WEDC is appointed
by the board of directors of WEDC and serves at the pleasure of the board. Currently, the governor appoints the CEO.
This final piece removes the ability of the Governor to determine the Chief Executive Officer of the board and instead gives this authority to the board.
AB 1070 and the other bills contain many other changes which have been widely reported in the media. [3] [4]

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