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Walker defends proposal to reinstate loan program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to bring back a troubled state loan program because local economic development officials told him they needed assistance.

Walker was asked Tuesday about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s loan program he wants to reinstate after phasing it out because some loans were never repaid, costing the state millions of dollars.

Walker says reinstating the loans is a way to be responsive to local economic development leaders “particularly in smaller areas” without adding state funding.

Walker says bringing the loans back with new requirements including that they not be forgivable “makes sense.” Walker’s proposal to reinstate the business loans was included in his two-year state budget released last week.

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