Not only has Republican Gov. Scott Walker been an absolute failure when it comes to creating jobs in Wisconsin, but a new report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicates the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the quasi-private agency set up after Gov. Walker and Republicans eliminated the state Department of Commerce, could have a $14 million deficit this year.
The state’s new flagship jobs agency is projected to spend $14 million more than it’s expected to take in this year, according to its own estimates.
The agency had a sizable surplus after its first fiscal year ended in June but will burn through a big part of that this fiscal year, agency figures show. So far, a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. spokesman said the agency hasn’t finished its budget for next fiscal year and can’t say whether it will need to raise more money from taxpayers or decrease incentives to businesses to balance the budget.
Earlier this week, Gov. Scott Walker announced a shake-up of two of the top three leaders at the quasi-private WEDC, including its chief operating officer and its chief financial officer. Adding to the transition challenges, WEDC also acknowledged Friday that its comptroller, the agency’s chief accountant, left earlier this month.
It’s important to note that when Republicans dissolved the Department of Commerce in June 2011, that agency had a $21.4 million surplus, a surplus that appears to have been squandered by Republicans in their efforts to help the state lose more jobs than were created in 2011 and thus far in 2012.
On a related sidenote, earlier this week 30 year-old Ryan Murray, Gov. Walker’s deputy chief of staff and a key aide on his campaign and transition team, was named as the WEDC’s Chief Operating Officer following a shakeup in that organization.
So instead of “fiscal responsibility” and “job creation” from Scott Walker and Republicans in legislature, what we’ve gotten is government waste and cronyism. Color me unsurprised.