State News

Foxconn passes Assembly, heads to Walker

State Assembly approved Foxconn legislation Thursday. It will now head to Gov. Scott Walker’s office for his signature.

The incentive package that would give Foxconn $3 billion in incentives passed through the state Assembly Thursday with bipartisan support, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk for his signature into law.

Two Republicans opposed the bill, while four Democrats supported it.

The state Assembly had already passed the Foxconn bill, but due to changes made by the Senate on Tuesday, the Assembly needed to approve the current version before it could go to the governor.

The Taiwanese technology company will likely be located in Racine near Kenosha County. It’s expected to create 3,000 to 13,000 jobs, with 10,000 jobs required for construction of the plant.

The sprawling technology plant that will design LCD flat-screen panels is said to be able to fit 11 Lambeau Fields and will cost $10 billion to build. It’s estimated the company will produce 22,000 indirect jobs in the form of local businesses such as restaurants.

The company wouldn’t receive the full $3 billion until it fulfilled job creation goals.

Due to the direct and immediate effects Racine and Kenosha County will feel from Foxconn’s ultimate approval, state Reps. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, Cory Mason, D-Racine, and Tod Ohnstad, D-Kenosha, voted in favor of bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin.

State Rep. Jason Field, D-Milwaukee, also voted in favor of the bill.

Some Republican officials say that Barca’s approval of the multi-billion dollar incentive package last month when it was initially debated on the Assembly floor contributed to his recent decision to resign as top Democrat in the Assembly.

Walker and supporters cheered the deal with Foxconn Technology Group as a win for Wisconsin that will “transform” the state’s economy.

“We are excited to see Governor Scott Walker sign the bill to cement this partnership and we are eager to work with the people of Wisconsin to make it a center of worldwide high-tech manufacturing,” Foxconn Technology Group said in a statement Thursday.

It would be the largest subsidy given from a state to a foreign company in U.S. history.

Other lawmakers aren’t so confident about the deal, believing the financial risks of giving the company $2.85 billion in cash payment from taxpayers outweighs the potential benefits.

“Giving away $3 billion tax-payer dollars and greenlighting a project that threatens our environment while taking away funding from our roads and schools is incredibly unwise,” said state Rep. Jill Billings, D-La Crosse, in a statement.

Walker is on a trip to South Korea but could sign the incentive package by early next week. 

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