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Politics & Government

Governor Signs Long-Awaited Venture Capital Bill

The new Wisconsin law will provide $25 million to fledgling companies in a list of fields.

After lobbying two years for a state pot of venture capital, Gov. Walker signed a bill into law Thursday, creating a po0l of $25 million.  In order to access the public funding, private investors would have to provide a two-to-one match.

The money will help early-stage, Wisconsin-based companies grow, in hopes they create jobs in the state. Funding will be available to entrepreneurs in the fields of advanced manufacturing, agriculture, engineering, IT, medical devices and imaging.

The bill had bipartisan legislative support, even though some lawmakers did not believe it should exclude life sciences and biotech firms. Critics called the omission an ideological decision, because biotech could mean embryonic stem cell work. Supporters of the exclusions say the bill focused on industries that could quickly create jobs.