Gov. Scott Walker announced a $100 million “Transform Milwaukee” initiative Monday, April 30th that he said is intended to draw businesses to Wisconsin’s largest city by fixing up blighted areas and providing economic incentives.
Milwaukee’s economy has been especially troubled in recent years. While the state unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, unemployment in Milwaukee has remained around or above 10 percent.
Of the 4,500 jobs lost in Wisconsin last month, 4,400 were in the Milwaukee metro area.
Walker said a key step in pushing ahead with the plan was a law he signed in early April allowing the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to issue up to $150 million in bonds for economic development. The agency has agreed to commit $100 million to “Transform Milwaukee,” by offering federal tax credits, business-development loans and residential mortgage loans.