The Latest: Wisconsin Senate leader: Budget before Foxconn

AP News
Posted: Aug 09, 2017 1:49 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's $3 billion incentives plan for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

The top Republican in the Wisconsin Senate says the Legislature should pass the stalled state budget before turning to Gov. Scott Walker's $3 billion incentive plan for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn.

The Assembly expects to take the first votes on the Foxconn bill next week, with committee approval slated for Tuesday and a floor session on Aug. 17.

But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Wednesday he's going to send the bill to the Legislature's budget-writing committee and reiterated his previous stance that the committee should finish work on the state budget before addressing the incentives.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos didn't immediately respond to an email seeking reaction to Fitzgerald's remarks.

Work on the state budget has been at a standstill while Republicans grapple with a nearly $1 billion shortfall in the state's transportation fund.


11:25 a.m.

Wisconsin's top environmental official says a Foxconn plant in the state would be a "gift" and her agency can balance the environment with job creation.

President Donald Trump announced last month that the Taiwanese electronics company would build a plant in southeastern Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker has introduced a $3 billion incentives bill to help Foxconn. The measure exempts the company from a range of environmental regulations.

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp, a Walker appointee, told the agency's board Wednesday that the bill simply streamlines the bureaucratic process for the company.

She called the Foxconn plant a gift and the DNR will prove it can balance environmental protection with the needs of businesses.


10:55 a.m.

Wisconsin legislators expect to begin voting next week on Gov. Scott Walker's $3 billion incentives bill for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, a Republican, says the Assembly's jobs committee expects to take up the bill early next week with a floor session planned for Aug. 17. Passage would move it to the state Senate.

Democrats have said legislators should slow down and more closely examine the bill's potential impacts.

Walker's bill would exempt construction materials from the state and local sales tax and hand the company up to $2.85 billion in tax credits based on the number on the number of jobs generated. It also exempts the company from a host of environmental regulations and borrows $252 million to rebuild Interstate 94 near the plant site.