Evers-O-Meter

Dissolve and replace state economic development agency

“As governor, Tony will: Disband (the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation), replace it and return the majority of economic development dollars to local communities and regional organizations. We shouldn’t make businesses come to Madison to beg for help – we should work within our communities and local chambers of commerce to rebuild our main streets and grow our existing businesses.”

Elsewhere, Evers pledged to defund WEDC in his first budget.

Updates

WEDC plans on hold amid legal battles, September changeover

Criticizing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. as a "constant source of controversy, inefficiency and ineffectiveness," Gov. Tony Evers pledged while campaigning to disband the agency.

He also said he would "replace it and return the majority of economic development dollars to local communities and regional organizations."

That plan hit a snag when Republicans passed a series of lame-duck bills that gave the state Legislature control over the WEDC for the first nine months of 2019. That is, the start of Evers' term. That blocked Evers' ability to act, so we gave Evers a Full Flop for a promise to dissolve WEDC in his first budget.

But the Republican blockade hit a snag of its own March 21, 2019, when a judge blocked all the lame-duck laws, saying they were passed in an illegally convened session (Republicans have moved to appeal). Evers acted shortly thereafter to address other actions blocked by the bills, but he has not yet taken any action against WEDC.

Melissa Baldauff, Evers' deputy chief of staff, said Evers is not planning to make any changes at WEDC immediately.

"Once the governor regains control of WEDC he will be in a position to begin laying out a vision for the state's economic development agency," she said in an email.

That makes this promise Stalled.

 

Sources:

Tony Evers campaign website, Economic Development, accessed March 25, 2019

PolitiFact Wisconsin, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers flips position on dissolving WEDC, Jan. 17, 2019

Email exchange with Melissa Baldauff, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Tony Evers, March 26, 2019