2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
January 26, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Ringhand, L. Taylor, C. Larson and
Vinehout, cosponsored by Representatives Barca, Spreitzer, Considine,
Pope, Vruwink, Doyle, Goyke, Kolste, Ohnstad, Crowley, Sinicki,
Hesselbein, Wachs, Mason, Berceau, Sargent, Zamarripa, Bowen, Milroy,
Anderson, Billings, Shankland, Meyers, Fields and Subeck. Referred to
Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government.
1An Act to create
238.137 of the statutes; relating to: entrepreneurial
2assistance grants and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill authorizes the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to
award an entrepreneurial assistance grant of up to $3,000 to a new business for
expenses related to hiring, as a paid intern, a student enrolled at an institution of
higher education who studies business, engineering, information technology, or a
similar field. Under the bill, a new business is a business organized in this state no
earlier than five years before the business applies for an entrepreneurial assistance
grant. Additionally, if WEDC awards an entrepreneurial assistance grant to three
or more businesses to fund internships for students enrolled at a single institution
of higher education, and the institution develops a program to support internships
funded by these grants, WEDC may award an additional grant of up to $25,000 to
the institution. Finally, the bill requires WEDC to allocate at least $125,000 in each
fiscal year to fund grants authorized under the bill and to submit a report on the
effectiveness of those grants to the legislature no later than February 1, 2021.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
238.137 of the statutes is created to read:
2238.137 Entrepreneurial assistance grants. (1)
In this section:
(a) “Institution of higher education" means an institution within the University 4
of Wisconsin System, a technical college, or a private, nonprofit institution of higher 5
education located in this state.
(b) “New business" means a business organized in this state on a date not more 7
than 60 months before the date on which the business applies for a grant under sub. 8
The corporation may award to a new business a grant of up to $3,000 for 10
expenses related to hiring a paid intern who will assist with research, marketing, 11
business plan development, or other functions relating to the creation of a new 12
business. A recipient may use the grant under this subsection only for hiring a 13
student who is enrolled in an institution of higher education in the field of business, 14
engineering, or information technology or in a similar field as determined by the 15
If the corporation awards grants under sub. (2) to 3 or more businesses to 17
fund internships for students enrolled in a single institution of higher education, and 18
the institution of higher education develops a program to facilitate internships 19
funded with grants under sub. (2), the corporation may award a grant of up to 20
$25,000 to the institution of higher education for costs associated with hiring interns 21
under sub. (2), including faculty or staff time and curriculum development. If the 22
corporation lacks sufficient funds to award grants to all qualified applicants, the 23
corporation shall allocate available funds to applicants that have the greatest 24
potential to create jobs in this state.
From the appropriations under s. 20.192 (1) (k) and (r), the corporation shall 2
allocate at least $125,000 in each fiscal year to provide the grants under subs. (2) and 3
The corporation shall actively pursue gifts and grants from private sources 5
for funding grants under subs. (2) and (3).
Not later than February 1, 2021, the corporation shall submit to the 7
legislature under s. 13.172 (2) a report evaluating the effectiveness of grants under 8
subs. (2) and (3).