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GOVERNMENT and the time is right for Wisconsin to develop sources of capital for high-growth industries. We can put past legislative failures behind us and take a bi-partisan approach to investing in our future success. As a small business owner, I believe that training a 21st Century workforce is one of the best ways to improve the state’s economic outlook. Businesses and manufacturers consistently identify the need for skilled workers as one of the most important challenges they face. The budget passed last year cut support for technical college funding by over $70 million. As the new Chair of the Job Training, Technical College, and Workforce Development Committee I will seek to support our local technical colleges and eliminate waiting lists in high demand occupations. In mid-September I held an informational public hearing on job training in high demand occupations, which included technical college representatives, business partners, and skilled trades representatives. I believe it is important to support the realignment of the skills of our able workforce with the needs of local employers. 1. Gudex: Last session started with more than a $3 billion deficit which required difficult decisions to balance the budget. Despite this huge obstacle, there were several steps taken to move Wisconsin’s economy forward including the creation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, manufacturer’s tax credit, the job creation tax credit and removing red tape that slowed growth. However, there is more that can be done to get Wisconsin’s workers into family-supporting jobs. Reforming the tax code to be more competitive will be one priority. A venture capital bill is likely to be considered again in the 2013 session. Any venture capital bill must have protections for taxpayers, have funds matched by private investors, and invested 100 percent in Wisconsin. There are several other states that have venture capital programs that provide examples of what works and what doesn’t. The new WEDC is getting off the ground and working as a public/private partnership to give a whole new approach to job creation and retention in Wisconsin – we need to work closely with them to make sure they stay on the right track and get results. I would also connect state agencies with small business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss ways to remove roadblocks to economic development. In order for businesses to start, relocate, and expand in Wisconsin, government should be a resource, not a roadblock. PROFILE Name: Jessica King (D) Residence: Oshkosh Job: Attorney and owner of Compass Law Political experience: Currently in her first term in the Wisconsin Senate after winning a recall election in 2011; City of Oshkosh Common Council from 2007 to 2011 Education: Bachelor’s in international studies, history and political science – UW Oshkosh; Juris doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego Web site:

2. Gudex: Legislators had a clear opportunity to support economic development by using natural resources here in Wisconsin, while putting in place strong protections for the environment. The final version of the bill from last session was a great job creation bill that had high environmental standards with the goal of mining safely and cleanly while helping grow our economy and create jobs throughout the state. I am disappointed because I fear that the window of opportunity may have closed because of political games. If a second chance arises, I will work hard towards getting a mining bill signed; Wisconsin workers deserve this opportunity. 2. King: I support responsible mining in Wisconsin. The Assembly version of the mining bill last session was irresponsible and would have hurt taxpayers and local small towns in the area near the proposed iron ore mine. The failure to pass a mining bill last session is just another example of why Madison is broken. That’s why I co-authored a bi-partisan mining bill and I am working with Democrats, Republicans, mining companies, local communities and environmentalists to draft a mining law that creates jobs while protecting the rights and the safety of local communities. As a result of my request, the Senate convened a new Senate Committee on Mining to renew efforts to modernize the state’s mining laws. I believe it is important that Wisconsin adopt a proposal that balances the needs of all stakeholders and reflects the permitting process in states that have successful iron mining operations. An issue as complex and time and resource intensive as mining deserves a thoughtful, bi-partisan evaluation and a proposal that ensures mining will be done efficiently, safely, and responsibly. The Wisconsin Mining Association’s effort to analyze Wisconsin’s mining laws is a worthwhile project and I expect that their report will be included in the committee process. We should call on all interested parties from impacted areas to help the legislature develop the framework for a comprehensive update to our mining laws. 3. King: Wisconsin’s legal system will always require review to make sure there is a fair system to resolve disputes between individuals, businesses and government entities. How often are we reminded that no one likes lawyers until they need one because they were harmed by another? Frivolous litigation describes cases that have absolutely no merit. As a solo firm owner, I can tell you a law firm will not PROFILE Name: Rick Gudex (R) Residence: Fond du Lac Job: Production manager for the aluminum division at Brenner Tank in Fond du Lac Political experience: Currently president of the City of Fond du Lac Common Council since 2010 and elected to the council in 2009; Village of Eden Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004; Mayor for City of Mayville from 1998 to 2000 and member of the Mayville Common Council from 1996 to 1998 Education: St. Mary’s Springs High School Web site:


October 2012  

Regional business magazine

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