Foxconn bill leaves state on hook for expenses - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Foxconn bill leaves state on hook for expenses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

The Latest on Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators' work to bring a Foxconn plant to southeastern Wisconsin  (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker's $3 billion incentive package to lure a Foxconn electronics plant to Wisconsin calls for the state to pay local governments' expenses if the factory doesn't move forward.

A Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis of the bill released Tuesday found provisions in the measure that would require the Legislature to pay up to 40 percent of local governments' obligations related to Foxconn, such as building roads and sewers. The commitment would kick in only if the state Department of Administration secretary approved the obligation before it was issued.

The bill cites a "moral obligation" for the state to pick up the locals' expenses.

Foxconn has agreed to build a $10 billion plant in southeastern Wisconsin. The company claims the plant could eventually employ as many as 13,000 people over six years.

10:50 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker is meeting behind closed doors in the state Capitol with Republican lawmakers to discuss the $3 billion tax incentive package he's offering electronics giant Foxconn.

Walker's office confirmed his attendance at the Tuesday meetings as the focus turns to what the Republican-controlled Legislature will do with the proposed deal. Walker signed an agreement with Foxconn last week for the Taiwan company to build a $10 billion plant and employ up to 13,000 people over six years in southeast Wisconsin.

The Legislature must sign off on the $3 billion in tax breaks Walker offered. The deal also includes exemptions to a variety of state environmental laws, which is drawing criticism from Democrats and others.

A public hearing on the bill is expected as soon as later this week.

10:35 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin lured electronics giant Foxconn to the state even though others offered the company more money.

The Republican governor said Tuesday "at least one if not several other states" were prepared to give Foxconn more than Wisconsin's $3 billion incentive package. But Walker added that "it wasn't a huge gap."

The other states Foxconn considered for its first U.S. manufacturing plant were Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Walker says he hopes lawmakers will work on approving the incentive package at the same time they try to finalize a state budget that's a month overdue.

Environmentalists have expressed concern about the future Foxconn plant's impact on wetlands, but Walker insists the company has to abide by all federal and state regulations.

9:55 a.m.

Republican state lawmakers are meeting privately to discuss a $3 billion incentive package for Taiwan-based Foxconn to build a new display panel manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker called a special session that officially began on Tuesday, but no legislative action was expected until later in the week when the incentive bill was likely to get a public hearing.

Instead, Republicans who control the Senate and Assembly planned to meet privately to discuss the bill.

Concerns have been raised both about the cost to taxpayers and other provisions designed to accommodate Foxconn, like the waiving of numerous environmental permitting requirements and other regulations.

But Walker and other backers have pointed to the economic benefit of the proposed $10 billion plant that could employ up to 13,000 people.

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