Republicans in the state Assembly have released a list of changes they hope to make to a proposed incentive package that’s designed to help bring Foxconn to Wisconsin.
An Assembly committee will meet Monday to consider a substitute amendment to the bill, which includes nearly $3 billion in tax incentives for the Taiwanese electronics maker. Foxconn has said it plans to build an LCD manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin, which could eventually employ up to 13,000 workers.
In a call with reporters on Friday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the changes are intended to make sure the state’s investment is protected. “We continue to do everything we can to maximize the positive impact on the wages and the families of people who are Wisconsin workers and those who help to pay the bills in our state,” Vos said.
The Amendment includes $20 million in state funding for worker training programs and clarifies that tax credits only take effect when jobs are created that pay at least $30,000 a year. It also includes a requirement that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will need to include language in the final contract that promotes the hiring of Wisconsin workers when possible.
In a statement, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca accused Republicans of trying to rush through the process to avoid scrutiny. “It’s clear that Republicans are trying to appear proactive without actually fixing the concerns that many people have with this bill,” Barca said.
Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), who chairs the committee considering the bill, pushed back against that criticism, noting that Republicans met throughout the week with Democrats to address concerns about the bill. “This isn’t about doing it fast, it’s about doing it right,” he argued. “We worked with both sides to put together the language in these amendments.”
Republicans are hoping to move quickly on the bill, with a vote in full Assembly possible on Thursday. The Senate has been taking a slower approach though, only sending the proposal to the Joint Finance Committee this week. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said he would like that committee to hold a hearing on the bill August 22.