State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, would be authorized to provide investment advice and startup financing to a bioscience fund the Wisconsin State Legislature would create under a new bill.
Assembly Bill 21 would establish the Wisconsin Next Generation Reserve Board to make direct investments, loans and grants in Wisconsin bioscience companies.
The state could contribute up to $50 million a year and up to $500 million total to the fund, according to the legislation, introduced at the request of Gov. Scott Walker and pending in the joint Senate and Assembly Finance Committee.
The legislation authorizes the reserve board to contract with SWIB for “advice and services related to the reserve board's grants, loans, and investments,” the bill states.
Also under the legislation, SWIB “may also make a loan to the reserve board” for its “initial operations and administrative expenses.”
SWIB would manage the reserve board's short-term investments, the bill states, and its executive director would be a non-voting member of the reserve board.
Funding for the reserve fund would come from a portion of “moneys generated from tax revenue” collected from companies in the state.
Vicki Hearing, SWIB public information officer, wrote in an e-mail, “There are no details regarding the type of relationship SWIB would have. If the bill passes, an agreement would be negotiated. We were involved in developing this bill. We manage other trust funds for state agencies, so it is similar to those arrangements.”