FRI AM News: Bill tweaking investment tax credit program could attract out-of-state investors; WisBusiness: the Podcast with Kevin Klagos, chief financial officer of First Choice Dental

— Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still says a bill to alter the state’s investment tax credit program could bring more out-of-state investors to Wisconsin. 

“Wisconsin still has a long way to go in terms of attracting venture capital especially, but we do have the right portfolio of companies; we have entrepreneurs who can do it,” Still said earlier this week before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions. “The more we can attract money from elsewhere, the better.” 

Senate Bill 208 would allow insurance companies from outside the state to access a 25 percent state tax credit on any investments made in Wisconsin companies that are certified through the Qualified New Business Venture program. 

According to Sen. Howard Marklein, one of the bill’s co-authors, out-of-state insurers were already getting tax credits for these investments until a 2017 audit by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance found they were ineligible to do so. 

Speaking earlier this week at a public hearing for the bill, the Spring Green Republican explained the investment tax credit program started in 2003 and has been altered several times by lawmakers.  

“I think there were some unintended consequences to the amendments that were made in 2009, which affected the ability of out-of-state insurance companies to invest in these companies,” Marklein said. 

See more: 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Kevin Klagos of First Choice Dental, a Dane County care provider with 11 clinics in the Madison area. 

He discusses a bill the company is supporting aimed at getting more early-career dentists to work in rural areas of the state. 

The bill would create a scholarship program that would award five $75,000 scholarships each year to students at the Marquette University School of Dentistry who commit to practicing in qualifying rural areas that lack access to dental care. The legislation is backed by the Wisconsin Dental Association, Marquette University and the Wisconsin Farmers Union. 

Klagos also talks about the growth of First Choice Dental since it was founded in 1996 by a group of three Madison-area dentists. He touches on the importance of community for dental practice, and gives his take on the state’s rural dental care shortage. 

FCD has 190 employees serving the Madison region, including 25 general dentists and seven specialists. 

“We’ve been able to expand in the surrounding areas around Dane County, and as Dane County has grown, we’ve been able to grow with them,” Klagos said. “We believe that people prefer to go to the dentist closer to where they live, and we’ve brought those services closer to them.” 

Listen to the podcast: 

See a full list of podcasts, sponsored by UW-Madison: 

— GOP Reps. Cindy Duchow, R-Delafield, and Jon Plumer, R-Lodi, have announced legislation to expand retirement savings plans to some Wisconsinites whose employers don’t offer them. 

Plumer said the so-called REvest plan would start as a pilot program for employers with more than 25 workers that would allow employees to direct money towards a retirement saving account through payroll deductions. The accounts would be employee-funded with no employer contribution, and the program would be run through a third-party vendor, Plumer said. 

Duchow added the program would be “a mandate to the businesses” to sign up their employees but noted that it would be at no cost to the business owner. 

The pair have yet to finish the bill drafting process. Duchow said they would caucus on the measure on Tuesday and hoped to have a co-sponsorship memo next week. 

— Ashland is getting a $155,400 WEDC grant to support the renovation of a new childcare facility near the city’s downtown area. 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Community Development Investment Grant will go toward the planned EverGrow Learning Center. According to the WEDC release, this project has been in the works for three years. 

Melissa Rabska, EGLC project coordinator for the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, says Ashland’s lack of child care has hurt the local workforce and hindered the area’s economic growth. 

“With the tight job market and the historically low unemployment rates that northwest Wisconsin has been seeing, employers are finding it even more difficult to fill positions,” Rabska said. “The EverGrow Learning Center is a creative grassroots solution to address this barrier felt by all levels of the workforce, from entry-level positions to upper-level professionals.” 

Once the center is open, it will have capacity for around 100 children and will support 15 full-time jobs. The release shows the city’s waiting list for the center already has more than 150 families signed up. Construction is expected to wrap up this fall. 

See the release: 

— AG Josh Kaul has announced a coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies have reached an agreement on new steps to fight illegal robocalls. 

The agreement includes steps to try to prevent these calls, including implementing a call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers. 

It also includes an enforcement component to make it easier to prosecute with an agreement to trace the origins of illegal calls. 

See more:

— Redox-powered health care integrations grew 45 percent over the first half of the year, while its customer base grew 33 percent, the company recently announced. 

“The industry is getting a clearer picture of the power Redox has to achieve the promise of digital health innovation,” Redox President Niko Skievaski said in a statement. “We’re on track to exceed our goals this year and continue to be focused on helping our customers integrate across this ever-growing network.”

According to a release, more than 500 health care delivery organizations and 236 independent software vendors use Redox.

As previously reported, the Madison tech company recently raised a $33 million Series C funding round led by Battery Ventures with participation from existing investors 406 Ventures, RRE Ventures and Intermountain Ventures.

See more at Madison Startups: 

See an earlier story on Redox: 

— An upcoming event hosted by will feature a primer on Midwest views on health care issues from nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation polling expert Ashley Kirzinger. 

The inaugural Midwest Polling Summit will be held Oct. 9 in Madison. Other experts will discuss  issues and trends that will affect campaign 2020 and key Midwest battlegrounds, including Wisconsin. 

A “future of polling” panel sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce will be led by Marquette University Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin and include Mike Podhorzer, the former political director of AFL-CIO and now senior adviser to the president, as well as Ashlee Rich Stephenson, vice president and national political director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

See more event info: 


# Madison-based Health Tradition expanding coverage to eastern Wisconsin

# Three big DNC delegations booked for O’Hare hotels; others in downtown Milwaukee

# Plans to remake historic Stevens Point Theater in peril after demolition order

# Del Monte to sell Cambria canning plant



– Farmer’s Fridge hopes Mitchell Airport exposure will fuel Milwaukee growth

– Dairy grazing apprenticeship now offering online programs


– Bayland Builders seeking to recover $13.1M from arena bankruptcy


– How Milwaukee compares on cost of living with biggest US cities


– UWM moving forward with $7 million Klotsche Center addition

– CALS to honor exemplary leaders during awards banquet

– UW-River Falls dairy pilot plant renovation making progress


– Number of mosquitoes is ‘average’ in Wisconsin so far this year, professor says


– Clement Manor funds memory care project

– Up to $70M medical campus with hotel, small hospital proposed in Delafield

– Diabetics struggle to find affordable insulin, despite being insured


– Milwaukee startup Xena Workwear completes $750,000 seed round

– Couture site getting new signage to prep for investor tours


– On the level: Buttke among four students receiving apprenticeship training in their senior year


– Edgewood alleges religious discrimination in lawsuit against Madison over use of athletic field


– Milwaukee manufacturing company VRC sold to Blue Point Capital Partners


– David Huntington, inaugural leader of Greater Milwaukee Foundation, dies at 92


– Wisconsin governor calls GOP concerns over gun bills ‘BS’


– Menomonee Falls apartment, townhouse buildings sold for $10.8 million

– Shell company buys Johnson mansion in Wind Point for nearly $4M


– Developer: Bayshore renovations, to begin next month, are ‘addition by subtraction’


– Still time to sign up for DBA Packer tailgate party


– Tech firm leasing space at The 42, adding as many as 145 jobs to downtown Milwaukee


– Milwaukee airport requesting $20.5M to complete international terminal upgrade


– Marquis Energy to cut ethanol production at Necedah Plant


– David Ahrens: Madison’s water fee is a regressive tax


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

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UWM’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center: Visit at Sept. 12 Tech Council event in Milwaukee