For more than a year, the state’s flagship jobs agency has stopped tracking whether businesses are repaying loans from state taxpayers – leaving the public in the dark about how much they are owed on a total of $8 million in past-due loans to 99 businesses.
The blunder – only the latest in a whole series of problems at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. – began at nearly the same time as the quasi-public authority championed by Gov. Scott Walker took over for the state’s previous jobs agency.
The loans that are past due by at least 30 days – and in some cases much longer than that – amount to 16% of the state agency’s total loan portfolio of $51 million in loans, said Ryan Murray, the WEDC’s chief operating officer. Murray said he learned from staff late last week that the agency had stopped systematically tracking its loan collection efforts and has no records on those efforts since June 2011, the month before the WEDC started.
The agency is still determining how much taxpayers are owed on the largely state-funded loans and how much of the loans is past due.
This latest revelation regarding the WEDC follows on the heels of federal officials raising concerns that for eight months the WEDC spent nearly $10 million in federal funds without the legal authority to do so.
Despite their claims that they’ll do a better job of governing than Democrats, Republicans have proven time and time again that while they’re extremely skilled at winning elections, they absolutely suck at what comes next – effectively and responsibly governing.