Assembly committee passes Foxconn incentive package - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Assembly committee passes Foxconn incentive package

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(AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File). FILE - In this May 27, 2010 file photo, a worker looks out through the logo at the entrance of the Foxconn complex in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Conservationists are lining up to oppose Republican plans to elimi... (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File). FILE - In this May 27, 2010 file photo, a worker looks out through the logo at the entrance of the Foxconn complex in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Conservationists are lining up to oppose Republican plans to elimi...

MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican legislation that would provide electronics giant Foxconn with up to $3 billion in state tax incentives cleared its first hurdle Monday, passing the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy on an 8-5 party-line vote.

It now heads to the full State Assembly.

"Appreciate the support lawmakers showed for Foxconn's historic investment & WI's hard-working families today," Gov. Scott Walker tweeted just minutes after the vote.

Assembly Republicans made some slight changes to the bill drafted by the Walker administration, but kept the support of all their members on the committee.

The package that goes forward sets aside $1.5 million in tax credits related to a $10 billion investment in a physical facility Foxconn has pledged to build in southeastern Wisconsin.

Another $1.35 million will be tied to job creation.

Democrats introduced 23 of their own amendments to the bill, many of which would have required Foxconn to meet specific metrics to secure and keep those tax credits.
    
That would have included:

- creating at least 3,000 jobs by January 1, 2021
- hiring at least 70 percent of the workforce from Wisconsin
- paying at least $15/hour
- providing health insurance benefits to employees and their families.  

Republicans believe those are all issues the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) can address when it negotiates a contract with Foxconn officials.

"I believe this is a great bill and I don't believe that any of the amendments put forth moving forward should be considered friendly," said Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), who chairs the committee.

Democrats said they want the conditions written into the legislation, because there are still too many unknowns related to the proposal.

"Not having a contract negotiated yet, all I can say is that perhaps (we're) a little bit skeptical and we want to make sure that the I's are dotted and the T's crossed before we enter into such an agreement," said Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha).

Republicans defeated all 23 Democratic amendments.

Every Democrat on the committee then voted against the final version of the bill.

The full Assembly is likely to vote on the bill Thursday.

Senate Republicans will begin consideration of the.Foxconn incentive package at public hearing in front of the Joint Finance Committee next week.

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