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State budget writing committee could take up Foxconn deal this week

 

This week, lawmakers on the state's budget writing committee could vote on changes to a bill to bring Foxconn to the state.

"Foxconn came and was kind of dropped on us at the end of July and I think that surprised a number of us in just the size, scope and breath of the project." said State Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton. 

The incentives bill passed the Assembly last month, however the Senate sent the bill to the Joint Finance Committee for more vetting.

"There will be some changes to it," explained Roth.

Roth said as Senate President he'd like to see bench marks put in place for job creation.

"I believe Foxconn; I think they want to come here and do the right thing for the state, but we have to do what's right by the taxpayers and I want to make sure that they hit the numbers that they are promising to hit," he said.

Under the deal, the state would give the tech-company $2.85 billion in cash payments, in return, the company would invest $10 billion in the state and eventually employ 13,000 people.

"It really could be transformational for our economy and help bring in people from other states," said State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna. "And I think that is what Wisconsin needs; we need an influx of newer, younger people coming in to the state to live, work, and raise their families."

If the incentives deal is approved, the state wouldn't break even on deal for 25 years.

"With all the ancillary benefits included, Wisconsin is going to make out better for having Foxconn than we would if we didn't," said Steineke.

Democrats have said there aren't enough clawback provisions in the bill that would protect the state taxpayers should the deal go south.