Area lawmakers react to Foxconn vote after Senate passage

Madison, Wis. (WBAY)- After hours of debate the State Senate passes legislation Tuesday night approving a $3 billion dollar incentive package to lure Foxconn to Wisconsin.

That vote came with bi-partisan support and opposition.

By a vote of 20 to 13 the state Senate gave the green light, on the biggest incentive package ever offered by the state--which provides three billion dollars in tax breaks, and exempts the company from key environmental protections.

In return-- Foxconn will invest ten billion dollars towards a new production facility in Southeastern Wisconsin.

"If it was the largest incentive package offered by the state, it's also, this is the largest investment by a foreign company in the United States in both terms of job creation and in terms of infrastructure," said Senator Roger Roth, an Appleton Republican.

Foxconn is promising up to 13 thousand jobs.

However, that wasn't enough for Senator Rob Cowles who was the lone Republican in the Senate who voted no.

In a statement, he said,“The decision to vote no on the Foxconn incentive package did not come easy. Weeks of work were committed towards reviewing this package, but questions still remained. While I support our state promoting economic development, the incentives that Foxconn was presented were too steep, both financially and statutorily. The bill as presented on the floor left uncertainties that I felt were too crucial for me to pledge support for this legislation.

I understand that more specific details will arise in contractual negotiations, and I trust that this administration and the legislature will work vigorously to keep the Foxconn incentive payments accountable and transparent. Unfortunately at this time, I was unable to support this specific legislation.”

In Appleton Tuesday afternoon Rep. Amanda Stuck, a Democrat, was among those at a small rally also opposing the deal.

She said,"I'm against it, I do not believe in corporate welfare, I do not believe that putting the taxpayers at risk is a good deal at all for Wisconsin."

After the vote, the Governor Scott Walker responded by saying,"This project will benefit our entire state with tens of thousands of direct, indirect, and construction jobs."

Plus Foxconn issued a statement, reading, "We eagerly await being able to take the next steps in this partnership and make Wisconsin a center of worldwide high-tech manufacturing."

Senator Bob Wirth, who represents of a portion of the area where the plant might be built, was the only Democrat voting yes.

The legislation now goes before the state Assembly on Thursday.