State rep wants more accountability from businesses receiving public fundsA Wisconsin lawmaker says the time has come for more details about the money that goes from state economic development agencies to private businesses.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A Wisconsin lawmaker says the time has come for more details about the money that goes from state economic development agencies to private businesses.
Milwaukee Democratic Representative Jon Richards says he will propose a state budget amendment soon. Richards would make the companies disclose online how many jobs will be created, whether wage levels meet the definition of a “living wage”, and make sure firms pay back money if they do not meet those targets.
“With that money comes accountability and responsibility. And all we’re asking is that if you receive public money, that you hold yourself to a higher standard, and that you make sure that everyone can see if you’re meeting that standard.”
Richards says he has been trying to get more details on the financial help that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has given to Milwaukee-based pizza maker Palermo’s.
Groups backing workers in a labor dispute with Palermo’s are also asking the company to follow a federal order and rehire and give back pay to about 10 fired employees. The company says it will wait until the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington rules on the appeal of a regional NLRB decision that partly favored Palermo’s.