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Assembly Committee Approves $3B Foxconn Incentives Bill

Full Assembly Expected To Vote Thursday On The Bill

Wisconsin state Capitol
Laura Zimmerman/WPR

A state Assembly committee has approved Wisconsin’s $3 billion tax incentives package for tech manufacturer Foxconn.

The committee voted 8 to 5, with all Republicans voting for it and all Democrats voting against. The incentives package now moves to the full Assembly, with a vote expected Thursday.

Republicans on the jobs committee lauded the deal, calling it “transformational.”

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“This is an investment that makes sense, and we cannot look the other way and let this go by,” said Rep. Bob Kulp, R-Stratford.

Democrats proposed 23 amendments to the deal, including requirements that Foxconn jobs must pay at least $20 an hour and at least 70 percent of the company’s workforce must be Wisconsin residents.

All of the Democratic amendments were voted down.

“I don’t have that kind of faith in this proposal,” said Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee. “I don’t understand why you would even want to put the burden on Wisconsin taxpayers to pay for Illinois workers to come into our state.”

A Republican-introduced amendment that included $20 million for worker training was approved by the committee. That amendment also includes language directing the state’s economic development agency “to the extent possible … encourage the business’s hiring of Wisconsin residents” as its negotiates a final contract with Foxconn.

At an event Monday morning near La Crosse, Gov. Scott Walker said he has no problem with Assembly Republicans’ changes to the Foxconn incentives bill.

Walker said he worked with Assembly leaders on the amendment before it was introduced Friday.

“As long as it doesn’t do anything to kill the deal, we’re generally supportive,” Walker said. “We’ll be willing to work with them, or for that matter members of the Senate, on changes and improvements.”

The state Senate has yet to schedule a public hearing on the package.