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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 9:56 AM 

Sen. Lassa attempts to pull business retention bill to Senate Org

Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, is attempting to move SB 121 to the floor. The bill would direct the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to create a business retention program and increase the skills enhancement grants by $400,000 a year. The grant part of that bill was passed as a separate measure in the Senate, but has yet to be taken up by the Assembly.

Senate Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald said that while he respects the efforts of Lassa, the bill would defeat the purpose of WEDC and would work outside of the functions of the WEDC board.

Lassa said that the bill would create a "rapid response" team to make sure that businesses in danger of closing or leaving the state do not do so and don't put Wisconsinites out of work. Lassa wants the bill on the next session schedule.

"We have too many people in the state of Wisconsin who are depending on us to get it [job creation] done," Lassa said.

Sen. Joe Liebham, R-Sheboygan, said the bill should not be pulled from the committee and accused Lassa of trying to make a political point. Liebham said that many of the things being addressed by Lassa's bill are already in the works, but warned against "micromanaging" the group.


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