Governor Scott Walker says there’s plenty of time for lawmakers and the public to review an incentive package for Foxconn that’s on the fast-track at the Capitol.
Walker is pushing to have the bill, which offers $3 billion in incentives to the Taiwanese electronics maker and eases some the environmental rules and permitting requirements for the development, passed by mid-August.
After meeting with Assembly and Senate Republicans on Tuesday, Walker said that two to three weeks is a “pretty good amount of time” for people to go over the deal. “I think right now most people are just looking at it,” Walker said. “We’ve got plenty of time built in to have public hearings, to have the public engaged.”
While lawmakers have voiced some questions about the proposal, which was released on Friday, he expects the major provisions – such as tax credits for the company – to remain intact. “I think there’s potential for a few tweaks here and there, but I don’t anticipate there will be major changes,” Walker said.
Timeline face uncertainty
Assembly Republicans have indicated they plan to move quickly on the bill by holding a public hearing later this week. However, Senate leadership signaled Tuesday that the chamber may opt to take more time.
After meeting in caucus, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said his members are more focused right now on trying to get the overdue state budget passed. “The caucus is united on the idea that we’ve got to the get the budget done,” Fitzgerald said.
The Juneau Republican said his members want to see more information about the package before scheduling any hearings. “We need more information, we want to see something from the (Legislative) Fiscal Bureau on the bill itself…until we have that stuff, we’re just going to continue to focus on the state budget.”
Fitzgerald said he’s hopeful the finance committee will be able to meet later this month and wrap up its work on the state budget, which is now a month overdue.