The state jobs board passed the 3 billion dollar incentives package for Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn — which plans to build a 10 billion dollar LCD display screen fab in the southeastern corner of the state.
But not until going into closed session after protesters disrupted the meeting.
Despite protests, the board passed the package eight to two in closed session. Democrats Senator Tim Carpenter and Representative Dana Wachs — who is running for governor — both voted no.
One of the protesters, Peter Rickman, says the plan is representative of Walker’s approach to the economy during his time as governor.
“Foxconn is not some outlier, it’s representative and symbolic of what they’re plan’s been from the jump,” Rickman says.
The contract was released publicly for the first time on Wednesday, and maintains requirements for the company to be able to receive public funds. For example, if Foxconn created a gradually increasing number of manufacturing jobs — up to 8 thousand through 2025 — it will can collect up to 1.3 billion dollars in construction-related tax credits.
Additionally, it will be able to collect up to $1.5 billion in tax credits if it creates up to 13 thousand jobs by 20-22 and maintains that level for ten years after that.
The plan also loosens environmental restrictions for the company — including letting it build over wetlands without a DNR permit.
Democratic candidate for governor Matt Flynn said before the vote today that the governor shouldn’t be doling out privileges to a foreign company like this.
“There’s no reason for him to do this deal, and he’s hurting the state badly,” Flynn says.
The full legislature has already approved the plan. Governor Walker plans to sign the deal with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and House Speaker Paul Ryan Friday afternoon in Racine.