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Lawmakers pass venture capital bill

Published On: Jun 18 2013 06:43:24 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

State lawmakers have approved legislation that would invest millions of dollars in public money in Wisconsin startups despite criticism that the investment only targets limited industries.

The venture capital program created under the bipartisan proposal would contain $25 million from the state and at least $50 million in private money. The investment will go to qualified young Wisconsin companies operating in agriculture, information technology, engineered products, advanced manufacturing, and medical devices and imaging industries.

Democrats criticize the bill for excluding sectors such as biotechnology, but Republicans say the priority should be industries that can return investments and create jobs quickly.

An amended version of the measure passed the Senate on a 29-3 vote. The Assembly approved it later Tuesday.

It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker's desk for his signature.

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