Assembly to take up venture capital bill

Bill would invest state and private money in Wisconsin start-ups

The Assembly is scheduled to take up a bill on Thursday that would invest state and private money in Wisconsin start ups.

The original legislation from Republican Rep. Mike Kuglitsch would have had the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation oversee a program that invests $25 million in state money and at least $50 million in private money in young companies. It has since been amended to have the Department of Administration oversee the program.

The change came weeks after a state audit found WEDC didn’t follow state law or adequately track loans it awarded.

Kuglitsch says the bill will give the state’s entrepreneurs some stability. But some Democrats say a one-time investment isn’t enough to guarantee a long-term return.