MADISON (WKOW) -- Senate and Assembly Democrats are trying to get ahead of the game on job creation in an attempt to make themselves more relevant this legislative session.
"Representative Barca and I have had two meetings already with the Governor, and we've talked about some of our initiatives and some of the things that we want to see," said Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), the Senate Minority Leader.
One of those initiatives is a competitive grant training program.
That allows businesses or economic development agencies to partner with local technical colleges to develop projects that focus on increasing skills in high employment areas.
The best ideas get the grants.
"These are jobs that are advertised, if only they had the training. So we believe we need to focus on workforce training," said Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), the Assembly Minority Leader.
Another proposal would allow out-of-state investors to receive refundable tax credits for supporting high-tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) said expanding those credits beyond Wisconsin's borders will only boost the economic growth they've already created.
"For $11 million in tax credits, those funds leveraged in Wisconsin a total financing of $152 million for our entrepreneurs and small businesses in our state," said Sen. Lassa.
But Rep. Fred Clark (D-Sauk City) says existing small businesses also need financial help. That's why he is proposing an up-front tax credit which would help a business owner secure a loan for expansion or equipment.
He said many current small business tax credits for things like that go unused.
"I worked with a business owner who actually could have benefited from a provision that we passed in 2009, giving a tax credit for purchase of harvesting equipment in forestry. What the owner said to me was, 'what good is it if nobody will borrow me the money to operate the thing,'" said Rep. Clark.
The Governor's office confirmed that they are looking at the Democratic proposals, and say they will discuss them further after the full budget is released on February 20th.
You can find a link to all nine proposals here.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Democratic leaders from the State Senate and Assembly are holding a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday afternoon to announce a new package of jobs legislation.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) will present a plan which they say is designed to create jobs quickly, close the skills gap and rebuild Wisconsin's middle class.
Democrats say it will be made up of new bills, some that have previously been highlighted by Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) and some that Republicans have ignored in the past.
The Democrats will hold the news conference in the Assembly Parlor at 2:00 p.m. Thursday.
Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will be there and will have live reports on 27 News at 5 and 6.
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