A bill that would put $25 million in state money into Wisconsin startups passed its first hurdle in the Assembly despite controversy surrounding Gov. Scott Walker's jobs-creation agency.
The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining approved the bill on an 8-6 vote Friday.
The legislation from Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, would put the money into a fund that invests in young Wisconsin companies. It would require the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to contract with a fund manager to manage the investments.
Some Democrats said the state shouldn't trust the WEDC after a scathing audit found that the agency didn't adequately track loans it awarded and gave money to unqualified companies.
Kuglitsch said those complaints are political.
The full Assembly will take up the bill Tuesday.