PRESS RELEASE: Governor Doyle signs recovery zone bond bill
WISCONSIN RAPIDS (PRESS RELEASE)--Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law Senate Bill 440, which allows the state to maximize federal bonds to help fund projects that will create hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin. The Governor signed the bill at Energy Composites, a wind blade manufacturing plant in Wisconsin Rapids that could benefit from the measure.
The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows certain local units of government to issue Recovery Zone Facility bonds for private sector economic development projects. Wisconsin received $238 million in bonding authority to be divided among 63 counties, plus the cities of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. Under the Recovery Act, most counties did not receive a large enough share of the funding to effectively provide assistance to businesses that need it. These bonds must be issued by January 1, 2011.
Under SB 440, any county or city that does not use its original bond allocation in a timely manner has its share re-entered into a statewide pool. The Department of Commerce will then administer that pool to provide needed financing to help companies like Energy Composites move forward projects to expand and create jobs.
"Thanks to President Obama and Congressman Obey, the Recovery Act has given us this powerful tool to create new jobs here in Wisconsin, especially in the emerging clean energy economy," Governor Doyle said. "By pooling these resources together, we will make sure we take full advantage of this opportunity and move forward job-creating projects across the state."
Energy Composites is looking to break ground on a 535,000 square foot wind blade manufacturing plant next month, a project that will create more than 600 good-paying clean energy jobs for the Wisconsin Rapids area. The signing of SB 440 will allow the company to request bonds from Commerce to help move the project forward.
Governor Doyle thanked Senator Lassa, Representatives Molepske and Schneider, and Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate for their work on the bill.
"My number one priority this year is helping our businesses create jobs and giving our workers the opportunities to get those jobs," Governor Doyle said. "This bill is just one more example of the steps we're taking to help our businesses create jobs and position Wisconsin to be a leader in the clean energy economy."
Governor Doyle has created some of the strongest economic development tools in the country to help companies expand in Wisconsin and create thousands of new jobs. The Governor has also worked hard to improve the state's tax ranking, and today Wisconsin ranks 30th in business taxes – well below the national average.
To further build the state's economy and create jobs, the Governor has called for the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will create 15,000 jobs in the emerging clean energy economy, and the passage of the CORE Jobs Act, which builds on the Governor's Accelerate Wisconsin plan by providing millions more in tax credits for angel and venture capital investments. The Governor is also creating the Wisconsin Green to Gold Fund to help manufacturers reduce energy costs, improve their bottom line, and create and retain jobs.