MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee has passed a Gov. Scott Walker proposal that would reorganize the state Commerce Department into a public-private hybrid.
The bill now heads to the full Legislature for its consideration.
Walker wants to replace state employees with private workers at a new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Existing regulatory functions of the Commerce Department would be moved to other parts of state government.
Walker said such a move will make the new corporation better able to focus on economic development and attract new businesses to the state.
But critics have said duties of the new entity aren’t clearly defined and they object to privatizing jobs currently held by state workers. No Democrats voted for the bill in the budget committee.