Press Release: News Release March 2002: Governor, legislature offer solutions to keep Wisconsin competitive:

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    News Release March 2002: Governor, legislature offer solutions to keep Wisconsin competitive

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: org cpowers wisbar Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (608) 250-6025

    Governor, legislature offer solutions to keep Wisconsin competitive
    "Next Economy" signed into law at Venture Capital Summit

    MADISON, March 20, 2002 - The 2002 Governor's Summit on Venture Capital held at the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee today served as a fitting background for enactment of legislation to assist in keeping Wisconsin business and economic climates competitive with other states. Stemming from the 2001 Governor's Venture Capital Summit, "Next Economy" legislation was drafted to cultivate and encourage business growth in Wisconsin. The package includes provisions to encourage businesses to locate in Wisconsin and remain here.

    Atty. Joe Boucher, State Bar of Wisconsin Business Law Section member and drafter of portions of the package stated, "These changes will make it easier than ever before to form a business in Wisconsin and keep the business from leaving as business growth matures."

    One of the key provisions in the package is a mechanism for cross entity mergers and conversions, provisions through which business may merge or convert into another business entity. At least nine other states provide these types of provisions, most notably Delaware, which enjoys national prominence for being a state in the business of attracting business entity formations and transformations. Wisconsin's laws in this area have not been updated for years. Under current law, a Wisconsin business would have to go through a cumbersome process in order to merge or convert into a different business entity.

    "Wisconsin needs to do more to keep pace with other states in providing the framework for businesses to grow," stated Senator Mark Meyer (D-La Crosse). "As a legislator, I want to do what I can to keep Wisconsin business here, and I believe the Next Economy package helps do so."

    Rep. Sue Jeskewitz (R-Menomonee Falls), co-author of the legislation added, "The Next Economy package provides Wisconsin businesses tools to stay competitive and stay in Wisconsin."

    The Next Economy package also includes provisions to streamline securities statutes, some of which have not been updated for 30 years. Updating these provisions will facilitate the ability of small businesses to raise equity or debt capital and allow Wisconsin to grow its job market and economic vitality.

    "It has been a pleasure for the Business Law Section to work with these bipartisan legislative authors, Governor McCallum, and the Dept. of Financial Institutions on this package. We hope to continue this type of collaborative effort in the future," said Business Law Section Chair Atty. Dan Eastman.

    Next Economy is contained in Senate Bill 333. It has a six-month delayed effective date.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system. The State Bar Business Law Section is comprised of 1,700 members who practice business law - both for-profit and non-profit corporations.

    For more information on the Next Economy, see the article in Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, "Legislation Incorporates Cutting-edge Business Combination Concepts," or contact Senior Government Relations Coordinator Jenny Boese at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6045.