Walker proposes $50 million in rural economic development

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a new $50 million annual investment in rural economic development projects.

Walker announced the proposal Wednesday, hours before he was to deliver his State of the State speech. He says the new money would primarily be used to stimulate private investment, improve productivity and fill open jobs in rural parts of the state.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation would be in charge and the money would be distributed through existing programs. Eligible projects would have to be in counties with a population density of less than 155 people per square mile. Walker says 56 of the state's 72 counties would meet that criteria.

Walker also announced creation of a $200,000 scholarship fund to encourage students to take agriculture courses at a state technical college or the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture.

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