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WEDA Recognizes Legislators with Economic Development Policy Awards

Wednesday, September 9, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rebecca Ballweg
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he Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) has recognized four legislators for their legislative policies and support that promote and foster economic development.

Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) received the WEDA Legislative Champion Award, which is given to legislators who provide legislative leadership with regards to advancing Wisconsin’s economic development programs and policies. Sen. Gudex’s leadership during the 2013-2014 legislative session paved the way for the development of the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, which provides workforce training assistance to firms that represent a number of Wisconsin’s, existing as well as emerging, targeted industries. Additionally, Sen. Gudex led the Legislative Special Study Committee on the review of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF). This committee’s work has been instrumental with identifying a number of key solutions that will improve TIF’s application, as well as its accountability. Sen. Gudex continued to support these policy initiatives, and other key WEDA legislative priorities too, by shepherding various reforms through the Senate during the 2015-2016 legislative session.

 

From left to right: Brian Doudna, WEDA Executive Director; Sen. Rick Gudex; James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager.

Representatitve Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) also received the WEDA Legislative Champion Award because she was essential to growing as well as enhancing Wisconsin’s economic development environment during the 2013-2014 legislative session. Rep. Loudenbeck was a major proponent of the Wisconsin Fast Forward Program, which provides workforce training assistance to firms that represent a number of Wisconsin’s targeted industries. Additionally, she spearheaded a tax credit transferability workgroup and has remained a strong proponent of Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) reforms.

From left to right: Dan Cunningham, Forward Janesville's Vice President of Government Relations and Education; James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager; Rep. Amy Loudenbeck; Former Sen. Tim Cullen; Brian Doudna, WEDA Executive Director.

Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) also received the Legislative Champion Award for advancing economic development in the Kenosha area as well as statewide. Rep. Ohnstad’s tax incremental decrement bill was vital for paving the way for future reform of Wisconsin’s TIF laws. Additionally, Rep. Ohnstad’s participation on the legislative Special Study Committee on the review of TIF was influential in identifying a number of key solutions for improving TIF application and accountability.

 

From left to right: Brian Doudna, WEDA Executive Director; Mary Rajek, WEDA Legislative Committee Co-Chair; Rep. Tod Ohnstad; Pam Christenson, WEDA President-Elect.

WEDA’s Economic Development Leadership Award is given to legislators that provide legislative leadership with regards to advancing Wisconsin’s economic development programs and policies. Former Sen. Tim Cullen received WEDA’s Leadership Award.

Throughout his tenure in the Wisconsin legislature, Sen. Cullen advocated for innovation and excellence in economic development. During the 2013-2014 legislative session, the senator was a leading voice among his party to support the transition from the Department of Commerce to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation model. Even during challenging political times, the Senator’s support for economic and workforce development programs and/or related policies remained constant.


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