The Latest: Wisconsin Assembly passes $3B Foxconn bill
Aug. 17, 2017
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the Wisconsin state Assembly debate of the $3 billion Foxconn bill (all times local):
The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a $3 billion tax break package for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.
The bipartisan vote Thursday now sends the bill to the Senate, where it must also pass in identical form before it goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The Assembly passed the measure on a 59-30 vote, with three Democrats joining 56 majority Republicans in support. Twenty-eight Democrats and two Republicans voted against it.
The vote comes just three weeks after President Donald Trump and Walker announced the deal for Foxconn to invest up to $10 billion on a display panel manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. It could employ up to 13,000 people, an opportunity that Trump and Walker have described as transformational.
But opponents question the cost to taxpayers and weakening of environmental protections.
A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
Most Democrats have assailed the measure, saying it's a corporate welfare giveaway that weakens environmental standards and doesn't have enough protections for workers.
The plant that Foxconn said could employ up to 13,000 people would be located near Racine, where Mason is running for mayor.
He says the measure is not perfect, but the prospect of thousands of jobs is too good to pass up.
Democrats in the Wisconsin state Assembly are arguing that a vote on $3 billion in tax breaks for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group should be delayed until the bill can be improved.
Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca argued Thursday that changes are necessary to ensure the environment and workers are protected and Wisconsin businesses will be involved in construction of the $10 billion campus where television display panels are to be manufactured.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says it is important for the proposal to pass with bipartisan support. He says the project that could employ up to 13,000 people will transform the state's economy.
Republicans control the Assembly 64 to 35.
Wisconsin Republicans say they are not moving too quickly on a bill that would extend up to $3 billion in tax breaks to Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group to locate a massive $10 billion factory in the state.
The state Assembly scheduled a vote on the measure Thursday, just three weeks after it was introduced. Assembly jobs and economy committee chairman Rep. Adam Neylon says the bill has been improved to include changes Democrats wanted, including $20 million for job training and improved environmental regulations.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos predicted the bill would pass on a bipartisan vote. Many minority Democrats have been outspoken against the measure.
The bill must also pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before becoming law.
The Wisconsin Assembly plans to approve a $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to build a new display panel factory in the state.
The incentive package up for a vote Thursday would be the largest in state history and the biggest to a foreign company in U.S. history. Democratic critics have said the state is giving away too much, while Republican backers, including Gov. Scott Walker, say it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
A deal signed by Walker and Foxconn officials call for the electronics giant to invest $10 billion in the state and hire up to 13,000 people at the massive plant. Construction would begin in 2020.
Critics say they worry about environmental regulations waived under the bill and the cost of the tax breaks.