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Crowdfunding bill allowing stock sales passes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a bill designed to help small businesses in the state find investors online.

The bill passed unanimously Tuesday would let businesses use a model popularized by online crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.

On those sites, the public can donate money to help finance projects but the bill would allow Wisconsin investors to purchase stock and equity in a business.

Supporters say the measure is a good way to help small businesses succeed at no cost to the state.

Wisconsin would be one of the first states to offer stock sales through crowdfunding. Only two other states — Kansas and Georgia — have passed similar laws allowing it.

The bill passed the Assembly last week unanimously and now heads to Gov. Scott Walker.