Wisconsin legislature approves Foxconn deal, sends to Gov. Walker for signature

Dominic Lynch
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 8:21 PM

The Wisconsin Assembly approved the massive Foxconn package Thursday, two days after the Wisconsin Senate did the same. The bill was approved on a mostly party line vote of 64-31. Four Democrats voted for the bill and two Republicans voted against it. It will now to be sent to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.

The Foxconn deal has been in a constant state of evolution since Walker announced in July that the company intends to bring a factory to southeast Wisconsin. What started with the state offering $1.25 billion in tax credits has increased to just under $3 billion. Foxconn has pledged to create up to 13,000 jobs in the state.

Democrats in both chambers have echoed concerns about environmental waivers granted to the factory and an expedited judicial process for Foxconn-related lawsuits. In the Senate, Republican legislators accepted an amendment that would give the state Supreme Court the option to hear Foxconn lawsuits faster. Neither the Senate nor the Assembly accepted any amendments on the environmental waivers.

In a statement, Republican Majority Leader Jim Steineke said, “I am excited by the prospects Foxconn will bring to Wisconsin. Every family and business throughout the state will see the benefits of this investment for our communities and economy. I look forward to Governor Walker signing the bill into law.”

In a tweet following the vote, Democratic Rep. Melissa Sargent, who represents Madison and Maple Bluff, said that “[I] Just voted NO on the Foxconn bill because it’s bad policy and #RiggedAgainstWI.” Democrats had tried to portray the deal as “rigged” against Wisconsin workers because of the massive tax credits the company will be receiving.

Minority leader Peter Barca voted for the bill, but is resigning his leadership post on Sept. 30 after a closed door session with Democratic legislators earlier in the month where his colleagues demonstrated their frustration with him.

The bill now heads to Walker, who is expected to sign it.