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State Senate approves $3B Foxconn incentives bill

The Senate will vote on the $3 billion Foxconn incentives package in Madison, September 12, 2017. (WLUK/Courtney Ryan)

MADISON (WLUK) -- After hours of debate, the State Senate approved a $3 billion incentives package to bring Foxconn to the state.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats introduced more than a dozen amendments to the bill, all of which were voted down.

Senate Democrats argue the bill does little to protect Wisconsin taxpayers.

"Bottom line, we’re giving away $3 billion to a Chinese company that may or may not create jobs," said State Sen. Dave Hanson, D-Green Bay.

Republicans added one change to bill.

Last week, the Joint Finance Committee made it so any legal challenges would skip the appeals court, and go straight to the State Supreme Court.

Under the change, the high court would have the option to take the case, but could also send it back to an appeals court for review.

Democrats argued the change still changes the legal system.

Republicans said the bill creates an outline to setup benchmarks Foxconn would have to meet when it comes to job creation.

“If they don’t meet the numbers that we’ve heard, the 13,000,they will get less," said State Sen. Frank Lasee, R- De Pere.

However, those benchmarks are not laid out in the bill. Under the proposal, the state’s economic development agency will set them later.

"It would be wrong on our end to bracket it so restrictively that there is no ability for WEDC and the administration to negotiate a deal with Foxconn," explained Roth.

Ahead of the final vote democrats expressed their disappointment.

"We could've done better, we could've made a better deal," said State Sen. Jennifer Schilling, D- La Crosse.

The Assembly is expected to vote on the incentives bill later this week.


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