State Senate Passes Foxconn Package

State Senate Passes Foxconn Package”

The Wisconsin Senate approved almost $3 billion in cash payments for Foxconn Technology Group on Tuesday, while also giving the Taiwanese company a slightly less expedited path to the state Supreme Court for certain legal challenges related to a planned massive electronics manufacturing factory. He says he believes Foxconn will honor its commitment to invest $10 billion to build the plant, as the company creates jobs.

While the state Assembly previously passed the bill, it will also need to act on changes made to the Foxconn package before the bill can go to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.

Senators debated the Foxconn incentives package for more than seven hours, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle delivering passionate speeches.

"This is the largest state giveaway to a foreign corporation in the nation's history", said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, of La Crosse.

The Wisconsin Senate is poised to approve almost $3 billion in cash payments for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to locate a flat-screen factory in the state. The plant would be the first American manufacturing facility for Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that makes iPhones and other electronics.

In return, the state would provide $3 billion in incentives over 15 years.

The tax credits will be refundable, meaning any amount by which they exceed Foxconn's tax liability - expected to be near zero - would be refunded to the company in cash.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the bill puts too few stipulations on Foxconn in exchange for a massive payout from taxpayers.

"Taxpayers know it's going to cost them $3 billion but they have no idea what they're buying", said Sen.

"What if we don't take this opportunity?" Shilling and Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Delta, said their constituents in northern and western Wisconsin, hundreds of miles from the likely Foxconn site, overwhelmingly oppose the bill.

Democratic amendments would also strengthen environmental protections.

During Tuesday's debate, Senate Democrats proposed a slew of amendments to the bill. Foxconn would be allowed to build in wetland and waterways and construct its 20-million-square-foot (1.86-million -square-meter) campus without first doing an environmental impact statement.

Democratic Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee urged Republicans not to vote for the incentives package, in part, because estimates show it would take the state 26 years to recoup the $3 billion. The requirement had been added last week by the Legislature's budget committee. Under the change senators passed Tuesday, the Supreme Court would have the option to take an appeal, but would not be required to hear it.

Republicans plan to change a provision in a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group that originally would have given the electronics giant an expedited track to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is controlled 5-2 by conservative justices.

Democrats blasted that change, saying the state should not change its judicial process to accommodate a single corporation.

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