The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee approved a $3 billion incentives package Tuesday to bring Foxconn to southeastern Wisconsin. The 12-4 vote sends the Foxconn Bill to the Senate. The committee passed the bill along party lines -- 12 Republicans voted in favor, 4 Democrats voted against the measure.
“This is probably the biggest thing that’s happened to our state since the cow,” said Committee Chairman John Nygren.
The vote came after a number of amendments were passed by the committee. The most contentious revision would expedite court appeals involving the proposed Foxconn plant in southeastern Wisconsin. It would send court appeals straight to the supreme court; a change to due process that offers Foxconn a different set of rules than other Wisconsin companies have to abide by. Democrats called it a lopsided deal in favor of Foxconn.
“I feel like that’s rigging the game to a favorable decision, that extremely concerns me,” said Representative Katrina Sharkland.
“You are crazy if you don’t take this offer,” responded Sen. Alberta Darling. “A lot of our surrounding neighbors wanted (Foxconn) badly.”
Foxconn announced its plans in late July to build a massive liquid crystal display panel plant in southeastern Wisconsin. Governor Walker said the manufacturing plant would bring 3,000-13,000 jobs as well as a $10 billion investment from Foxconn.
Another amendment requires the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to investigate how many jobs Foxconn would create to receive tax credits from the incentives package.
“This is going to be transformational, we’re going to be at the cutting edge of technology and manufacturing,” said Darling.
Rep. Gordon Hintz argued job requirement benchmarks should be guaranteed.
“There is a difference from seeking, satisfying … to putting an amendment in the bill to hold this company more accountable,” he said.
The Foxconn bill is now headed to the senate for a vote, however it will have to go back to the Assembly since revisions were made. Both are expected to vote sometime next week. According to the state’s deal with Foxconn, the incentives package needs to be signed into law by the end of the month for the company to come to Wisconsin.