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Foxconn contract to be released to WEDC board, days before final approval

Posted at 6:35 PM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 19:35:37-04

There’s been a last-minute shake-up on the deal to bring tech giant Foxconn to Racine County.

The head of Wisconsin’s Economic Development Corporation is changing his mind, and now says he will allow board members an advance look at the deal, just days before it is supposed to receive final approval.

This comes after both Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans asked that WEDC board members see the contract before the expected vote to finalize the deal on Wednesday.

WEDC was assigned to finalize the contract after Gov. Scott Walker signed the $3 billion incentives package into law in September.  A few weeks ago, Milwaukee Sen. Tim Carpenter, who is on the WEDC board, said they discovered a major issue that wouldn't protect taxpayers, so they delayed a final vote.

 In an email Friday, WEDC’s CEO Mark Hogan said issues have been fixed, and that the board will be able to see the new version on Monday.  Milwaukee Business Journalsenior reporter Rich Kirchen has been following Foxconn developments for months. He said the decision to release the contract early comes after pressure on both sides of the aisle.

"Typically the board does not get to see those,” said Kirchen. “What's changed this week is the legislative leaders in the Republican Party, Robin Voss and Scott Fitzgerald both said the same thing. They said they thought the WEDC board should be able to see the contract."

Hogan believes the final Foxconn contract will be signed on Wednesday. It then goes to Foxconn executives for final approval. The contract will be made available to the public after that.