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Rep. Smith Works Across Party Lines to Support Venture Capital Industry Growth Bill
MADISON- State Representative Smith (D-Shell Lake) applauded the passage of Assembly Bill 181, which establishes an Investment Capital Program that utilizes state funds to leverage commitments from private venture capital funds and invest in Wisconsin based businesses. Rep. Smith co-authored this legislation with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and voted in favor of its passage on the State Assembly floor. “While there are a lot of things we disagree on in Madison, I am willing to work across party lines to do what is best for the state. Job creation is neither a Democratic or Republican issue, but a Wisconsin issue,” stated Representative Smith. In comparison to other states, Wisconsin has not made a serious commitment in both investment dollars and average number of venture capital funded deals per year. Venture capital is crucial to stimulate job growth and move Wisconsin forward. Assembly Bill 181 specifies that funds must be used for agriculture, information technology, and innovative industries that will keep Wisconsin on the forefront of new technologies and emerging businesses. “I’m proud to have co-authored this legislation with Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the Assembly. We need to continue to work together to do what is right for our state and put partisan politics aside,” said Rep. Smith. The bill also guarantees that at least half of these funds must go to small businesses and startups, an area with the greatest potential growth. The bill also encourages investments to occur evenly across Wisconsin to ensure growth in all regions of the state. “Ma and Pa business are the backbone of the state and the heart of Wisconsin. I am proud that the legislature has made it a priority to look out for small businesses,” stated Smith. Representative Smith is hopeful that this bill will move swiftly through legislature, and will be signed into law by Governor Scott Walker soon. ###