Gov. Walker to lobby Wisconsin lawmakers on Foxconn

Walker hopes Foxconn talks don't derail budget
Gov. Walker to lobby Wisconsin lawmakers on Foxconn
Posted at 3:13 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 16:13:21-04

Gov. Scott Walker hopes negotiations on a package of fiscal incentives to bring Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn to Southeastern Wisconsin won't slow down discussions on the state budget.

"I'm going to talk to the Assembly and Senate caucuses today, and I believe we can make progress," Walker said Tuesday. "I'd like to see progress on the budget run parallel to Foxconn." 

Walker remains optimistic a budget will be signed this summer. 

Foxconn last week signed a memorandum of understanding to spend $10 billion on building a production plant in Southeastern Wisconsin for liquid crystal displays used in televisions and computers. 

The plant could generate up to 13,000 jobs, according to estimates, as well as 10,000 construction jobs and more than 20,000 indirect jobs related to the project. 

Walker said a site for the plant still hasn't been finalized, but both Racine County and Kenosha County have been mentioned as landing spots. 

"For us, the good news is we know that Foxconn is committed to Wisconsin and we're going to help them pick the right site for them," Walker said. 

Walker introduced a $3 billion incentives package for the plant on Friday. On Tuesday morning, lawmakers gaveled in a special session in Madison to consider it. 
The legislation eliminates a number of key environmental compliance requirements for Foxconn, including the need to obtain state permits to fill wetlands and environmental impact statements.

But Walker said that doesn't mean environmental regulations will be compromised for the sake of building the plant.

 "They still have to abide by all the rules of the federal government the same way they have to abide by the laws of state government," Walker said. 

"What we're proposing is streamlining the process. But the laws — in terms of clean air, clean land, clean water — will still have to be abided by," Walker said.

 If lawmakers approve the package of financial incentives for Foxconn, Walker said the goal is to break ground on the facility next year and have it up and running by 2020.