As the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Board gets ready to vote on a contract with Foxconn, Democrats are raising concerns about the deal.
Members of the board are set to meet Wednesday afternoon in Madison to consider the deal, which will set the stage for Foxconn to claim up to $3 billion in incentives for a LCD manufacturing facility it plans to build in Pleasant Prairie. The board has delayed the vote multiple times, citing ongoing negotiations with the Taiwanese company.
Members had been set to authorize the contract based on an executive summary, which is typical policy for the agency. However, WEDC Secretary Mark Hogan announced last week that members would be able to review the full agreement before voting, after both Democrats and Republicans had requested the ability to do so.
After receiving the contract on Monday, state Senator Tim Carpenter, who sits on the board, said he still doesn’t feel members have had time to properly review the plan and determine whether it will protect taxpayers. “I have not had the opportunity to read and make an informed decision on Foxconn to see if it definitely protects taxpayers,” the Milwaukee Democrat said in a statement, noting that Tuesday’s busy Senate floor session made him unable to attend a briefing. “Whenever the State Senate adjourns, I will finally get the opportunity to read, review and better understand the Foxconn deal. Until then I cannot honestly say taxpayers are being protected,” he said.
Democrats in the Assembly also unsuccessfully pushed for the chamber to take up a resolution that would have called for a full public release of the contract ahead of the vote. The request was rejected by majority Republicans.
The WEDC board is scheduled to meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Madison.