Wisconsin General Assembly Gives Green Light To Foxconn Deal

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Wisconsin General Assembly Gives Green Light To Foxconn Deal

The Wisconsin Senate has passed the state budget 11 weeks after it was due, sending the $76 billion spending plan to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The electronics-maker could receive up to $2.85 billion in cash from state taxpayers under the deal, which would make it the largest incentive package for a foreign company in USA history. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater, said he wants to see a January 1 effective date to repeal the state's prevailing wage requirement. The delay was the result of leaders trying convince enough GOP members to vote for the plan, which is more than two months overdue.

Debate began more than two months after the budget was supposed to have been taken effect on July 1.

All Republicans except one voted in favor while all Democrats were against. Democrats are united against it.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill Thursday on a bipartisan 64-31 vote.

The state Assembly is planning a final vote Thursday on the bill that would make $2.85 billion available to Foxconn in cash payments if it invests $10 billion and hires 13,000 workers. Vos likened the Senate GOP demands for changes to a "ransom note" and said the Assembly would not be "held hostage". The governor's comments were made to reporters, by conference call, during a trade visit to South Korea.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said the fact that the Republicans had difficulty getting the needed 17 votes "demonstrates the dysfunction that's happening, the inability to govern".

Foxconn issued an unsigned statement thanking Wisconsin, saying the incentives "will help us move forward with our plans to build the state-of-the-art advanced display manufacturing campus".

Democrats have assailed the budget as a missed opportunity that benefits the wealthy since it would cut income taxes primarily paid by high earners but not reduce income taxes across the board or for poor working families as Walker had urged.

The governor says the potential Foxconn deal has put our state on the map globally. The budget would have also allowed votes in November of odd-numbered years.

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night.

Walker, who is gearing up to run for a third term next year, also defended the proposed budget plan, saying it fulfills his goals of increasing funding for K-12 schools without increasing property taxes.

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