State Senate President urges chamber to reconvene to give aid package to Kimberly-Clark



State Senate President Roger Roth says he hopes the chamber will act soon, in a bid to save as many as 600 jobs in the Fox Valley, to give paper giant Kimberly-Clark a state incentive package modeled on what was given last year to electronics maker Foxconn. 

Roth issued a statement Tuesday saying he will "be working with Majority Leader (Scott) Fitzgerald and members to help get the Senate in a position to come back in and pass this important legislation." 

That raises the prospect of the state Senate reconvening this year. The chamber adjourned this spring, marking what then appeared to be its close of business for 2018.

The Appleton Post Crescent reported Tuesday that a new agreement ratified by Kimberly-Clark union workers Monday night could lead to saving jobs at the facility, if paired with state tax incentives.

Kimberly-Clark announced in January, as part of a global restructuring, it planned to close factories in Neenah and Fox Crossing. The closures had been expected to cause the loss of 600 jobs in the region.

The state Assembly in February passed a lucrative tax-incentive deal modeled on one given Foxconn to locate near Racine. It would allow Kimberly-Clark to claim tax credits for 17 percent of eligible payroll costs in exchange for retaining jobs in the state.

The state Senate never enacted the measure.

The secretary of the state's economic-development agency, Mark Hogan, said in a statement Tuesday that the agreement between Kimberly-Clark and the union for workers at the Wisconsin facilities, United Steelworkers, "would ensure the company’s Cold Spring facility remains in operation."

"We look forward to working with the company, Gov. Walker and state legislators to find a path forward to secure Kimberly-Clark’s presence in Wisconsin for decades to come," Hogan said.