Gov. Walker cancels agency merger

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker put the kibosh on a plan to merge state agencies after a recent Legislative Audit Bureau audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) turned up problems.

Reportedly, the audit claims the WEDC failed to follow its own policies related to distributing financial awards or when verifying the number of jobs the agency helped create.

Walker proposed merging WEDC with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), and the Department of Financial Institutions with the Department of Safety and Professional Services as part of his 2015-2017 budget, but work on both mergers have been stopped in their tracks.

Walker chairs the WEDC, which he created in 2011 as a replacement for the Department of Commerce.

Reed Hall, WEDC’s secretary and CEO, vehemently disputes the charges, according to media reports.