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Assembly committee to vote on new venture capital fund

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state Assembly Jobs Committee was planning to vote Friday morning on a bill to pump $25 million in tax money into new start-up companies.

Lawmakers of both parties are behind a measure proposed by New Berlin Republican Mike Kuglitsch.

It would start a new venture capital fund to invest in agriculture, energy, high-tech, and other firms.

At least $50 million would come from the private sector, and the state’s share of $25 million is included for now in the proposed state budget.

Business interests say the fund is badly needed. At a recent public hearing, they said many new firms have left Wisconsin because there was not enough venture funding to survive their early stages.

A couple of Democrats say the measure is not enough to guarantee any long-term return on what would be simply a one-time investment.