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Legislature Approves $3B Incentive Package For Foxconn

Deal Moves To Gov. Scott Walker For His Signature

The Wisconsin Capitol reflected in an office window
Steve Brown & John Verkleir (CC-BY)

The Wisconsin Legislature has signed off on the $3 billion incentive package for Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn.

The Assembly cast the final vote to approve the deal on Thursday afternoon, with a vote of 64-31.

Four Democrats – Reps. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, Jason Fields, D-Glendale, Cory Mason, D-Racine, and Tod Ohnstad, D-Kenosha – joined Republicans in voting for the deal.

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Fields said he chose to support the plan after discussions with legislative leaders and Walker administration officials.

“And I was very elicit in my discussion,” Fields said. “I want to make sure that there’s training and jobs and positions for African-American men and they all looked at me, and these are people who have never lied to me, and said, ‘You know what, you have our word.’”

The manufacturing facility, which is projected to create up to 13,000 jobs, will be located in southeast Wisconsin.

Two Republicans, Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, and Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, joined Democrats in voting against the deal.

During debate, Democrats continue to argue the deal is too risky for Wisconsin taxpayers.

“We do want jobs. We just don’t believe that this is sustainable economic development,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh. “This is desperation.”

The incentive package includes about $3 billion in tax incentives. It would also allow Foxconn to bypass some state environmental regulations. The company could reverse the course of streams, fill in wetlands and build on lakebeds without applying for a permit from the state.

The Assembly initially approved the deal last month, but had to take up changes incorporated by the Senate on Tuesday.

The incentive package now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:19 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.