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Gov. Walker signs venture capital program bill into law Thursday

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Wisconsin taxpayers will again invest in a host of new businesses, under a venture capital program that Governor Scott Walker will sign Thursday.

A bill signing ceremony is set for late Thursday morning at MCT Incorporated in Milwaukee.

Lawmakers voted in June to create a $75 million fund to help startup companies get off the ground in fields that include agriculture, energy, and high-tech. Taxpayers will provide $25 million, and private sources will supply the other $50 million.

The bill received wide support from both parties, even though many Democrats said bio-tech medical firms should have been included.

Venture capital has been a sticky subject in Wisconsin since the late 1990’s, when out of state firms were allowed to run a funding program – and millions of dollars were never accounted for.

In the meantime, the state’s Technology Council said many new firms left the state, because there was not enough venture funding to help them survive their early stages.